BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has announced that the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5) has been fully secured for the first time in nine years.
While reports earlier this week indicated that the Syrian Army was already in control of it, the SAA’s high command made the official announcement on Friday.
According to a field source in the Aleppo Governorate, a Syrian military vehicle has already traveled the length of the highway, marking the first time any vehicle has been able to do this since the start of the Syrian War.
The Aleppo-Damascus Highway is considered a major source of trade between southern and northern Syria, as the roadway links two of the Levantine nation’s two biggest cities.
Furthermore, securing the Aleppo-Damascus Highway will allow the government to decrease the amount of time it takes to travel from Aleppo to Damascus.
Previously, the trip from Damascus to Aleppo it could take anywhere from 10-14 hours, depending on the traffic at each checkpoint; however, once this highway is officially reopened, the amount of time it takes to travel between the two cities should be should be cut in half.