In April of 2015, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) withdrew from the provincial capital of the Idlib Governorate, leaving the city to the conglomerate of Al-Qaeda factions “Jaysh Al-Fateh” (Army of Conquest); this was only the beginning of the SAA’s woes, as they would withdraw some 60km south towards the Hama Governorate’s western countryside before they finally forestalled their advance.
With the recent participation of the Russian Air Force and their relentless air raids on Jaysh Al-Fateh’s positions inside the Idlib Governorate, the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces (NDF) have experienced a resurgence inside the Al-Ghaab Plains of the Hama Governorate, leading them north towards the Jisr Al-Shughour countryside (Idlib Governorate).
On Sunday morning, the Russian Air Force carried out a number of airstrikes on the defensive positions of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) inside the cities of Jisr Al-Shughour, Al-Mastoumah, and Ariha; these airstrikes were followed by a Syrian Army ground assault on the imperative town of Al-Sirmaniyah inside the Jisr Al-Shughour District’s southern sector.
Above the advancing SAA soldiers was the Russian Air Force’s Hind Helicopter Gunships that could be seen attacking the Islamist rebels of Jabhat Al-Nusra at the Fawru-Sirmaniyah axis; this paved the way for the Syrian Armed Forces to officially reach the Idlib Governorate’s border via the town of Al-Sirmaniyah.
According to a military source in the city of Slunfeh (northeastern Latakia), the Syrian Armed Forces and Jaysh Al-Fateh are currently engaged in a violent firefight for control of the Fawru-Sirmaniyah axis; if the aforementioned Islamist group loses this battle, the Syrian Armed Forces will have successfully entered the Idlib Governorate.