DAMASCUS, SYRIA (10:00 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) achieved a major breakthrough overnight after a week-long series of back-and-forth clashes in the southern countryside of Aleppo with Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), a Syrian jihadist militia with close ties to Al-Qaeda.
Spearheaded by elements of the 3rd Legion, 5th Legion and Republican Guards, the SAA managed to impose full control over Al-Rashadiyah in the early hours of Friday. This key town has hands five times in the past month alone and is located a few kilometers west of the main government supply line leading to Aleppo City.
At the moment, the SAA is trying to fortify Al-Rashadiyah in order to prevent an HTS counter-offensive. In addition, reports indicate that government forces have reached the outskirts of HTS-controlled Ramlah, an imperative town en route to Abu Dahur Airbase, the long-term strategic offensive of the SAA’s ongoing offensive which is led by Major General Muhammad Khaddour.
The HTS defensive line in southern Aleppo was said to have buckled due to simultaneous offensives by the SAA on two flanks in the neighboring Hama governorate, rendering jihadist forces unable to defend all areas at once.