Forces of the Syrian Arab Army and pro-government paramilitary groups have established full control over a key highway linking the cities and Hama and Aleppo to each other.
On Friday, Syrian troops finished clearing the last ISIS-held towns along the highway linking Hama to Aleppo via the hilltop town of Tal ad-Daman, de facto gaining control over the entire motorway.
Whilst not as wide or developed as the better known M-5 highway, the Tal ad-Daman highway still represents a major road-link with Syria.
At the present time, the newly secured highway is off-limits to commercial use (mainly for security reasons) and will only be used by Syrian military forces to haul troops, supplies and equipment.
By gaining control of the Tal ad-Daman highway, government forces can now transit between Hama and Aleppo in less time (a matter of many hours) than if they were to use the Ithriyah-Khanasser-Aleppo road which for years was the only road connecting two cities for them – this communication line now becoming a auxiliary route.