Syrian government gains control of Maar Shamarin, southern Idlib
Idlib - SMART
On Friday night, the Syrian government forces gained control of the village of Maar Shamarin, 20 kilometers south of Idlib, Northern Syria, after clashes with Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions and Islamic battalions.
Military sources in the FSA's National Liberation Front reported to SMART that the Syrian government forces, with Russian air support, gained control of the village after clashes with opposition factions in the area. This comes hours after they gained control of the nearby village of Deir Sharqi.
The sources added that the opposition factions defeated Syrian government’s attempts to advance to the village of Abu Jarif and Tell Kersyan, eastern Idlib, killing and injuring members of the Syrian government forces and causing damage to an armored personnel carrier (BMP). Meanwhile, the Syrian government and Russia launched air and artillery shelling on the city of Maarrat al-Nu’man, southern Idlib.
On Friday, the Syrian government forces gained control of the village of Deir Sharqi (33 kilometers south of Idlib), after clashes with FSA factions and Islamic battalions.
Since Nov. 25, 2019, the Syrian government forces and loyalist militias, with the support of Russia, have been launching a ground military attack on the southern and eastern countryside of Idlib. They intensified the attack on Dec. 20, 2019, as the Syrian government gained control of dozens of villages and towns in the region, after the intense bombing, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians, and displacing hundreds of thousands of others.
This ground attack is considered a continuation of the military operation launched by the Syrian government forces and Russia on April 25, 2019. In August 2019, the Syrian government gained control of the northern countryside of Hama and the area of Khan Sheikhun. Military analysts and journalists say that the battles’ goal is that the Syrian government and Russia gain control of the Aleppo - Damascus international highway (which connects Turkey with Jordan and the Arab Gulf states) to be opened later under Russian-Turkish sponsorship according to the agreement between President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in September 2018, in the Russian city of Sochi.