BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:40 P.M.) – The Syrian and Russian air forces launched their largest attack of the year on northwestern Syria, a source from the military told Al-Masdar this evening.
According to the source, the Syrian and Russian air forces targeted dozens of towns and villages along the Hama-Idlib axis, with a high concentration of the strikes on the rebel stronghold of Kafr Naboudeh.
The source added the Russian and Syrian air forces used both fighter jets and attack helicopters during their heavy bombardment of northern Hama and southern Idlib.
On Monday evening, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) began amassing their troops in northern Hama and southern Idlib for what appears to be a limited offensive that will target the demilitarized zone.
A source in Damascus told Al-Masdar that the military has received the green light to launch the offensive; however, he pointed out that due to pressure from Turkey, the operation will only target areas within the demilitarized zone at this time.
For the Syrian Army to make a serious push into the Idlib Governorate would be very difficult, even with help from the Russian Air Force.
Idlib’s rough terrain, especially in the northern and western parts of the governorate, and mostly pro-rebel population only add to the complexity of such an operation.