BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:10 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has sent reinforcements to the Idlib countryside this week amid concerns over the jihadist refusal to withdraw from the M-4 Highway (Aleppo-Latakia Highway).
Reinforcements from the neighboring Hama, Latakia, and Aleppo governorates reportedly poured into the eastern and southern countrysides of Idlib on Tuesday and Wednesday, as the military swelled their numbers near the front-lines.
According to a military source in the Idlib Governorate, the Syrian Arab Army is preparing to resume their offensive against the jihadist rebels, but will await final approval from their Russian partners, who are currently negotiating with Turkey.
Turkey was given an extended deadline to force the militants to leave the M-4 Highway; however, thus far, they have refused to withdraw from any points, prompting the Russian military to remain on high alert in the governorate.
The Syrian Arab Army’s next focus appears to be the strategic cities of Ariha and Jisr Al-Shughour; these two cities are jihadist strongholds, with the latter being the main hub for the foreigner-led Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP).