While all eyes are fixated on Aleppo, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has been quietly building up its forces in the Al-Ghaab Plains and northeastern Latakia in anticipation for the imminent offensive to capture the strategic city of Jisr Al-Shughour.
For nearly two months, the Syrian Armed Forces have remained inactive in northeastern Latakia, despite having the territorial advantage to seize the remaining villages under rebel control.
However, the reality on the ground is that the Jisr Al-Shughour offensive will require a large allocation of soldiers in order to challenge Jaysh Al-Fateh’s (Army of Conquest) rule in western Idlib.
More importantly, the Syrian Armed Forces will need a large number of soldiers to maintain their gains because Jaysh Al-Fateh has the ability to counteract if they spread too thin.
Over the last three weeks, the High Command of the Syrian Arab Army has been redeploying soldiers to the Latakia and Al-Ghaab fronts to swell their numbers as the extremist rebels transfer their fighters to Aleppo for the upcoming offensive there.
Jabhat Al-Nusra would learn of this mass mobilization over the weekend, as the Syrian Armed Forces quickly reinforced the Kinsibba front to reverse the rebel gains in just 24 hours.
Now, the Syrian Armed Forces prepare themselves to strike northeastern Latakia and the Al-Ghaab Plains for the first time since February, leaving Jaysh Al-Fateh in a debacle: do they reinforce Aleppo or Latakia?