On Friday evening, the Syrian Arab Army’s 87th Brigade of the 11th Tank Division – in coordination with the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) – launched another offensive in the Al-Ghaab Plains to recapture the territory they lost three days ago to the conglomerate of Al-Qaeda affiliates “Jaysh Al-Fateh”.
The offensive has started off successfully, as the Syrian Armed Forces have captured the town of Khirbat Al-Naqous after fierce clashes with the two largest factions in Jaysh Al-Fateh: Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra”.
According to field reports from the Syrian Arab Army in Joureen, the Syrian Armed Forces have now advanced to the nearby towns of Tal Wassit and Al-Mansoura; however, they have yet to impose control over them, despite some early reports of their capture before nightfall on Friday.
These back-and-forth battles for the Al-Ghaab Plains have proven to be some-what tedious, as both the Syrian Armed Forces and the Jaysh Al-Fateh factions have both gained significant ground, only to concede these gains some days later when the enemy launches their own offensive.
The military objective for both parties in the Al-Ghaab Plains is not clear at the moment; however, they both seem to favor this “retreat-to-advance” tactic that has left most observers of this war baffled because when one side appears to have the upper-hand, their gains are reversed the following week.
For the first time since they arrived in the Al-Ghaab Plains, the Syrian Arab Army’s “Tiger Forces” have been absent from the battlefield – they withdrew their soldiers on Monday before the enemy combatants launched their offensive.