By means of a high-intensity operation launched from two fronts, the Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitary groups have reduced the country’s once seemingly impregnable rebel-held northwest by one-third in a time span no longer than six weeks.
In practical terms, this translates to the Syrian Army seizing well over 300 towns and villages from militant groups as well as reclaiming the long-lost Abu Duhur military airport.
Furthermore, the Syrian Army has asserted full control over two strategic regions within the newly captured territories, these being the Al-Hass Plateau and the northwestern quadrant of Syrian Desert which serves a gateway into Idlib province via the east (bypassing the mountains chains which guard the region’s southern, northern and western approaches).
The operation has involved some best units available in the Syrian Army’s order of battle – including the Tiger Forces Division, 5th Assault Corps, 4th Mechanized Division (until mid-January) and Republican Guard.
Overall, the Syrian Army has placed itself in a very comfortable position to strike into the heartland of Syria’s rebel-held northwest and march on the cities of Saraqib and Idlib (both highly-strategic targets) now or in the future should it so choose.