2019 South East Idlib Offensive
The 2019 South East Idlib Offensive was a military operation launched by the Syrian government against opposition factions in the Idlib Governorate and surrounding areas. The offensive began on 24 November 2019 after the Syrian military reportedly captured several villages in the southeastern part of the largely opposition held Idlib governorate, the government's opening advance was accompanied by Russian air support and later the villages were recaptured by opposition factions. Since the start of the offensive 92,000 civilians have been displaced due to the fighting in Idlib and Hama.
Months prior to the offensive earlier in the year, the Syrian government launched an offensive managing to capture parts of the Hama Governorate and southern parts of the Idlib Governorate underneath opposition control after months of fighting lasting from April to August 2019.
On 24 November 2019, Syrian government forces supported by Russian airstrikes entered the villages of Um al-Khalakhil, Dahret al-Zarzour, al-Sayeer and al-Musheirfeh. Syrian state media reported that several rebel fighters were killed during the operation, and that Jabhat al-Nusra was expelled from the specific villages of Dahret a-Zarzour and al-Musheirfeh.
On 25 November 2019, following the Syrian governments advance and reversal of the previous day, a second military advance was attempted by government forces targeting the village of al-Farjah which Syrian state media reported as being under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
On 27 November 2019, the National Front for Liberation published a video of its special forces unit ambushing the Russian military, while the Russian army was attempting to infiltrate the Injaz village. The National Front for Liberation claimed to have killed and wounded several Russian soldiers in the ambush and published combat footage of the ambush.
On 28 November 2019, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham announced to have repelled a joint Iranian-Syrian advance in Kabani in the northeastern part of the Latakia Governorate. Russian warplanes were also reportedly seen during the advance, and after hours of clashes Iranian and Syrian forces withdrew from the area.
On 30 November 2019, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other opposition groups captured several villages near the Abu al-Duhur Military Airbase.
On 1 December 2019, Ansar al-Tawhid released photos of the group firing improvised artillery at government forces in the southeastern Idlib countryside. On the same day the National Front for Liberation and HTS captured additional villages from government forces along with Ajnad al-Kavkaz and Ansar al-Tawhid. During the rebel advance the Syrian military claimed to have destroyed two SVBIEDs near the town of Kefraya in southeastern Idlib.
On 9 December 2019, the Syrian military bombarded rebel held areas in the southern Idlib countryside as well as portions of the western Aleppo countryside and portions of Aleppo city's outskirts underneath rebel control.
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