BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:30 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is preparing to launch a massive military operation in the Idlib Governorate and “it seems that the operation is close,” a retired SAA officer said in an interview with Sputnik Arabic on Thursday.

According to retired Brigadier General ‘Ali Maqsoud, a decision was taken to eradicate the last focus of terrorists in Syria within the Idlib enclave, indicating that the military operation began its efforts after the Syrian Air Force destroyed sites of mobilizing militant groups.

These militant groups have been waging attacks from the M-4 Highway (Aleppo-Latakia Highway) and its surroundings, while also destroying vital installations, such as bridges and roads.

General Maqsoud pointed out that the preventive anticipation of any possible developments encouraged Russia to provide Syria with MiG-29 aircraft.

The general said that the Syrian pilots have already trained at the Hmeimim Base in rural Latakia for the upcoming military operation in the Idlib Governorate.

The retired Syrian general expressed his belief that the decision to eradicate the last focus of militants in Syria was “taken”, considering that it makes sense to use (MiG-29) to cover other Syrian warplanes when exercising their activity by targeting hostile sites on the lines of engagement and supply lines extending to them.

The Syrian expert pointed to the complete readiness (MiG-29) to confront any possible developments by Turkey if it considers attacking their forces.

General Maqsoud said that Russia’s supply of upgraded MiG-29s to Syria comes in the context of the Russian response to all recent attempts to correct Syrian-Russian strategic relations, stressing that the upgraded aircraft that arrivedcome shortly after the Russian Federation supplied them with advanced tanks and rocket launchers, indicating that this qualitative armament is a response to the procrastination by Turkey in implementing its obligations related to Idlib, and also to Israeli abuses of existing understandings between the Russian Federation and the entity, especially after the aggression against the Scientific Research Center.

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The Syrian military expert explained that these developments led Russia to respond to any violations or reactions that might arise in these parties to support terrorist organizations as the Syrian Army advanced in the Idlib countryside, and that it has therefore strengthened the fighting capacity of the Syrian Arab Army, especially in the field of air defense, given the fact that the Mig 29 is an upgraded aircraft that is linked to the air defense systems.

He pointed out that the (MiG-29) combat aircraft outperforms the F-16, which are currently used and will be used to respond to attacks from outside of Syrian airspace, noting that training missions with this plane by Syrian pilots means that they are now familiar with the appropriate know-how.

The Syrian military expert considered that the (air / air) missiles with a range of 120 km in (Mig 29) means that they are able to deal with all hostile targets, whether Turkish, Israeli or even American, and not to allow them to reach ground targets and vital installations inside Syrian territory.

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