The Russian Federation’s Air Force began their aerial campaign inside Syria on September 30th and since then, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their allies have recovered over 90km of territory in the Aleppo Governorate; 25km of territory in northern Hama and southern Idlib; and over 35km of territory in northeastern Latakia and the Al-Ghaab Plains of west Hama.
Perhaps, the most important gains made by the Syrian Arab Army – since the Russian Air Force began their aerial campaign in Syria three weeks ago – have taken place inside the volatile Aleppo Governorate; this aforementioned province was immersed in a stalemate before the Russian Air Force began their airstrikes over the territory controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and the western-backed Islamist rebels.
The east Aleppo front was relatively unchanged before the Russian Air Force’s participation, as both ISIS and the Syrian Arab Army struggled to gain ground against one another; this left the SAA soldiers at the Kuweires Military Airport in the Deir Hafer Plains under a brutal two year long siege that was imposed by ISIS.
However, in the last three weeks, the Syrian Arab Army’s “Cheetah Forces” (Tiger Forces branch) have captured more than 45km over territory from ISIS inside the Deir Hafer Plains, marking the largest series of gains made by the pro-government forces since the Al-Zabadani offensive in July.
West of the Deir Hafer Plains, the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, Harakat Nujaba (Iraqi paramilitary), the National Defense Forces (NDF), and Kataebat Al-Ba’ath (Al-Ba’ath Battalions) – have also captured over 45km of territory from the Islamist rebels of Harakat Nour Al-Deen Al-Zinki, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham in just three weeks.
In fact, the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance are on the verge of cutting the main supply route from Idlib to Aleppo for the Islamist rebels at Khan Touman; this aforementioned city is situated on the imperative Aleppo-Damascus International Highway.
Despite western critics declaring the Russian airstrikes as “ineffective”, they have proved to be a game-changer for the embattled Syrian Army that was unable to launch a ground offensive two months ago.