BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:00 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) advanced in the southern countryside of the Aleppo Governorate on Sunday following a fierce battle with the jihadist rebels north of Idlib’s administrative border.
According to a military source in Aleppo city, the Syrian Army and their allies captured two towns from the jihadist rebels after pushing west from recently seized Khan Touman.
The source specified that the Syrian Army captured the towns of Khalsah and Zeitan, adding that the latter was later recaptured by the jihadist rebels of the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP).
The Syrian Army’s advance in southern Aleppo came after a week of intense clashes along the Khan Touman axis, which is located east of the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5).
The southern Aleppo offensive is being carried out in conjunction with the operation to capture the remaining towns and villages under the control of the jihadist rebels in eastern Idlib.
As illustrated in the map above, the Syrian Army is close to reaching the Aleppo-Damascus Highway, but they are currently tied up at the few towns west of Khan Touman.
This advance is relatively important because their forces hope to push south along the highway in a bid to link up with the 25th Special Mission Forces Division (formerly Tiger Forces) that are pushing north from the Idlib Governorate.