Backed by allies, the Syrian Army took no rest after the conquest of the strategic Abu Duhour Airbase positioned on the border between Aleppo and Idlib provinces.
The rapid advance would sweep through ten villages located in the vicinity of the airbase taking by storm the following: Al-Jafra, Mashirft Al-Haj, Mashirfa Al-Shartji, Andan Al-Sheikh, Tarfawi, Abu Muhajer, Al-hayaniyah, Rabiya Al-Hayaya, Ziyara and Abu Jawra.
All the aforementioned towns are located in the northern, northeastern, and eastern fringes of the airbase securing a new reinforcement path besides the arduous supply line that passes through Sinjar from northern deep into east Idlib.
In a military feat not rarely witnessed in the Syrian war, the Tiger Forces have managed to connect northern Hama to southern Aleppo. The tactical and logistical implications of such a development on the operational dispositions of the Battle for Idlib is immeasurable.
Here you have a protracted front line bulging over 250 km into the depth of central Syria narrowed into a mere ~60 km front on Idlib’s immediate eastern boundary. The liberation of massive bundles of manpower allocated towards protecting the long supply route to Aleppo will yield a significant boost towards the Idlib operations but not before the problem manifesting in the rise of ISIS in northeast Hama is dealt with first.
A force comprised of a 1,000 battle-hardened ISIS fighters, many of whom former rebels, finds itself pocketed in the Syrian Badiya with no way out of the loyalist clutch but to fight till the last man.
Syrian forces will have a long task at hand clearing this new threat before total victory is declared ending what was once called “Greater Idlib”, a buffer zone jihadist rebels created to keep their backyard protected from immediate unwelcome transgressions.