The last two months have been rough for the Syrian Armed Forces in the province of Idlib, as the losses at Idlib City, Ariha, Al-Mastoumah, and the Qarmeed Camp have taken a toll on the morale of the soldiers entrenched on this front; these losses came one after another, with the loss of the provincial capital being the first defeat at the hands of Jaysh Al-Fatah.
Following the recent loss of Ariha, the Syrian Armed Forces looked all but set to depart from the Idlib Governorate; however, a recent Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) offensive in northern Aleppo has forced the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and their allies from Jund Al-Aqsa and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham to mobilize their forces to the Mar’e and ‘Azaz fronts to combat the swarming militants.
As a result of spreading their forces too thin, Jaysh Al-Fatah has allowed the Syrian Armed Forces to sprout a small offensive near the town of Zayzoun in rural Idlib; this is an imperative town to the Syrian Arab Army’s 87th Brigade of the 11th Tank Division, as it fortifies their thin supply route to the province and builds a barrier from Jaysh Al-Fatah’s positions to the east of the Al-Ghaab Plains.
On Monday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 87th Brigade – in coordination with the Tiger Forces and the 45th Regiment of the 1st Armored Division – launched a surprise assault at Tal A’our, resulting in the capture of this strategic hill that overlooks Zayzoun from the west after almost three hours of intense firefights with Jabhat Al-Nusra.
The Syrian Armed Forces have not stopped there, as the Tiger Forces – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the 45 Regiment – capitalized on Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s poor defenses at Sanqarah, capturing this village located directly north of their final supply route to the province of Idlib.