BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has deployed reinforcements to the southern countryside of Idlib and northwestern Hama from neighboring governorates, a source told Al-Masdar News this morning.
Speaking to Al-Masdar from Latakia, the Syrian Army source said the military has deployed a large force in southern Idlib and the nearby Al-Ghaab Plain region of northwestern Hama.
According to the military source, the Syrian Army is preparing to kickoff a large-scale operation that will see their troops attempt to seal off the Latakia Governorate from neighboring Idlib.
At the same time, the Syrian Army’s 4th Division units will also attempt to capture the key town of Kabani, which is situated just west of the Al-Ghaab Plain and southwest of Jisr Al-Shughour.
Ultimately, by sealing off Latakia, the Syrian Army can shift their focus to Jisr Al-Shughour, which is a major city located along the Latakia-Aleppo Highway.
In addition to its military importance, Jisr Al-Shughour is currently controlled by foreign jihadist groups like the Turkestan Islamic Party; these militants are constantly targeted by the Russian Armed Forces.
To prepare for the army offensive, the Russian and Syrian air forces have stepped up their attacks in northwestern Syria this week, hitting a number of jihadist sites inside both the Latakia and Idlib governorates.
As the offensive approaches, look for both the Syrian and Russian air forces to expand their strikes into several areas in northwestern Syria.