According to a military source in Damascus, the failure to reach a consensus on the situation in Idlib has led the Syrian Arab Army’s high command to once again resume plans for a large-scale offensive inside this governorate in northwestern Syria.
The source said the Syrian Arab Army’s high command is planning to launch this offensive at the start of the new year, which is similar to their operation that was launched in January 2020.
This offensive will target the remaining areas under militant control in Jabal Al-Zawiya and the Al-Ghaab Plain, with a special concentration on the key town of Ariha, which is located along the strategic M-4 Highway (Latakia-Aleppo Highway).
The Syrian Arab Army previously halted their offensive in March 2020 after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow.
The Putin-Erdogan meeting also led to the establishment of joint patrols between the Turkish and Russian forces along the M-4 Highway; however, they have since been suspended due to security reasons.
As the year approaches its end, the Syrian Army will likely intensify their attacks in southern Idlib, while gradually increasing the size of their forces near the front-lines.