BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:25 P.M.) – Beginning around two weeks ago, the Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitary groups kicked-off a powerful two-stage offensive against armed rebel groups west of the Ithriyah-Khanasser highway in the southern countryside of Aleppo province.
The first phase of the assault saw Syrian pro-government forces secure the Al-Hass plateau region in just a matter of days, completely routing militant groups via attacks from multiple directions at lighting speed; overall, the engagement saw over one hundred towns and villages throughout the area returned to the control of Damascus during about as many hours.
The second stage of the south Aleppo offensive has seen the Syrian Army and its allies push west of the Al-Hass plateau towards the Abu Duhur military airport and to this effect many dozens more towns and villages located around the installation, particularly to its north, have been secured.
Although the southern Aleppo offensive involves many pro-government outfits, the key formation leading the operation is the elite 124th Brigade of the Syrian Army’s Republican Guard. The unit has displayed an ability to make blitz-style advances similar to the better-known and much renowned Tiger Forces Division.