The Syrian governmental troops have regained control over the town of Jarjnaz in the southeast of the Idlib governorate and are now approaching the terrorist outpost Maaret Naaman on the strategic Damascus-Aleppo highway, the Abu Masdar news portal reported late on Monday.
According to the website, pro-Damascus forces broke through the enemy’s defense lines in Al-Tah and Abu Makkah, killing "hundreds" of militants. The governmental troops lost 50 killed and 70 injured.
The offensive began on December 19. In four days, the Syrian armed forces liberated 35 villages and towns, previously held by militants of the Jabhat al-Nusrah terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) and their allies, TASS reports.
At the moment, governmental forces are advancing along the Abu Makkah - Maaret Naaman highway. A Turkish military observation post in the village of Sarman is in their rear.
According to Abu Masdar’s report, the Syrian military command suggested that militant groups surrender their outpost in Maaret Naaman and retreat to the governorate’s north, to the mountainous terrain of Jebel Zawia near the border with Turkey.
Idlib is the only large Syrian region that is still controlled by illegal armed groups. The northern de-escalation zone was set up in the governorate in 2017 to give shelter to militants and their families who were reluctant to voluntarily surrender arms in Eastern Ghouta and in Syria’s southern regions. Twelve Turkish observation stations are operating in the Idlib governorate.