Syria’s Idlib Offensive in Operational Pause as Weather Frustrates Air Support, 2nd Turkish Outpost Encircled
AQ bought a respite by General Fog
Editor’s note: I’ve wondered why the Idlib offensive had been standing still for 3-4 days now. Turns out the winter weather has been preventing effective air support and there’s no sense in advancing without all the advantages aligned for you. So far the Syrian army has taken dozens of towns and villages and cut the distance to Maarat al-Numan which is the target of the offensive from 35 kilometers to 10. That also means it has encircled another Turkish military outpost, which was supposed to prevent its offensive. Since prideful Erdogan won’t withdraw them that means more hostages for the Syrians.
ANNA News has some excellent footage of recent combat in Idlib. It shows some 25th Special Mission Forces Division [The new name for the Tiger Forces.] units on the attack. You get a good feel for the nature of the combat with small, combined arms units operating over fairly open terrain.
Note the centrality of light infantry even in what can be best considered tank country. Note that this light infantry is unburdened by a 100 pounds of hi-tech gear, body armor or even helmets. I can relate to that.
Note also the extensive jihadi trench works and underground shelters facing that light infantry. The 25th makes good use of various direct fire supporting weapons as well as artillery and aerial support.
Bad weather is grounding/limiting Russian and Syrian air support for a few days. The 25th has paused their offensive while it rests and resupplies before continuing their attacks. The 5th Corps and Liwa Al Quds are keeping the pressure on the jihadis.
The SAA goal is to take both Ma’arat Al-Nu’man and Saraqib to the north. Saraqib is at the critical junction of the M4 and M5 highways. [Saraqib is enormously strategic, huge if true.]
Source: Sic Semper Tyrannis