DAMASCUS, SYRIA (0:00 P.M.) – Dozens of Russian airstrikes have pounded towns controlled by Hayyat Tahrir Al-Sham in a rural region west of Aleppo city over the past 24 hours.
The Russian Air Force conducted numerous sorties over Atareb and Anadan in a bid to dislodge insurgents from mobilizing their forces in the region.
Despite extensive planing, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has called off its long-awaited Anadan Plains offensive several times due to prioritizing other offensives.
The SAA hopes to link Aleppo city to Nubl and Al-Zahraa through a 10 kilometer rebel-held corridor mostly comprised of farm areas. Should this offensive succeed, government forces would cutoff several Islamist strongholds, including Kafr Hamrah, Haritan, Anadan and Hayyan from the rebel heartland in Idlib province.
Three weeks ago, government forces liberated the otherwise impregnable Aqrab (Souq al-Jabs) area and a small section of the Rashideen district in southwestern Aleppo in a move which may have prompted HTS to redeploy militants from the Anadan Plains, thereby weakening its fortifications in the rural region.