DAMASCUS, SYRIA (12:50 A.M.) – Footage has emerged of the National Defence Forces (NDF) deploying the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) against jihadist forces in the northeastern countryside of Hama.
The large missiles were launched by the NDF on Thursday towards Balil, once an Alawite town before its inhabitants fled in 2013, where large numbers of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) militants are believed to be stationed:
On this flank, the NDF is working closely together with elements of the 4th Mechanized Division and Qalamoun Shield Division, ultimately looking to reach and retake Abu Dahur Airbase through a series of pincers, thus establishing a launching pad for further counter-insurgency operations in neighboring Idlib.
In November alone, HTS has been expelled from some 50 villages across Hama and Aleppo; in effect, the Al-Qaeda aligned faction has lost much of its buffer zone around Idlib Province.
Once the SAA finishes its military campaign against ISIS in eastern Syria, thousands of Syrian government troops are expected to join the anti-HTS offensive towards Idlib. Among these reinforcements will be the Tiger Forces, considered the most elite assault branch of the SAA. The Tiger Forces are specialized and trained exclusively for offensive warfare.