BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:40 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is preparing to launch a massive offensive to clear the eastern and southeastern parts of the Idlib Governorate that are held by the jihadist rebels and Islamic State (ISIS).

According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army’s 5th Legion and Republican Guard are positioning themselves around the large 900 square kilometer pocket in southeastern Idlib, as they prepare to strike the jihadist forces present in the area.

Once this large pocket is cleared, the Syrian Army will have full control over the eastern part of the Idlib-Hama axis for the first time in several years.

Meanwhile, north of this pocket, another unit from the Syrian Arab Army’s Republican Guard and their allies from Liwaa Al-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary) are preparing to clear the large stretch of road leading from Saraqib to the eastern countryside of Idlib.

These two battles will be very costly for the Syrian Army, as they are entering two parts of the Idlib Governorate that are filled with battle-hardened jihadists.

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