The Islamist rebel forces of the Free Syrian Army’s 101st Brigade, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Liwaa Suqour Al-Ghaab, and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” were given a rude awakening from the Russian Air Force’s MI-24 Helicopter Gunships inside the cities of Kafr Zita, Kafr Naboudeh, Khan Sheikhoun, Qala’at Al-Madayq, and ‘Atshan this morning, as their powerful airstrikes left many enemy combatants dead and their equipment destroyed.
According to a military source in the city of Mhardeh, the Russian Air Force relentlessly targeted the Islamist rebels at the city of Khan Sheikhoun inside the Idlib Governorate’s southern countryside, killing scores of enemy combatants entrenched inside this rural area, while also reportedly destroying a half dozen armored vehicles.
The source added that the Russian Air Force has continued their aerial onslaught for 72 hours in order to weaken the Islamist rebel defenses, while also protecting the Syrian Armed Forces’ recent gains in northern Hama; however, he could not provide information regarding a potential ground assault that was similar to the one launched earlier this week.
On Tuesday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 87th Brigade of the 10th Tank Division – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) – launched a large-scale offensive to capture the imperative cities of Latmeen, Al-Lataminah, Kafr Zita, and Qala’at Al-Madayq.
Despite the capture of Al-Mughayr, Lahaya, Markabah, Tal Sikeek, Tal Sakhar, and Tal ‘Uthman, along with a major advance in Latmeen, the Syrian Armed Forces did lose 33 soldiers and 10 tanks in the process of this large-scale assault; this is one of the reasons why Russian has taken over the operation with their air force.