"Pro-government forces have opened up a new front against militant groups in Hama Governorate’s northern countryside, rapidly liberating a key town.
According to military-affiliated sources, the Syrian Arab Army and local fighters from the National Defence Forces attacked rebel positions around the town of Douma early this morning under cover of airstrikes and artillery bombardment." AMN
It is clear now that while cleaning up the messy situation around the Abu Kamal/al Qa'im border crossing remains important to the R+6, the main action has moved to a major effort to re-take Idlib Province and force the Turks to go back cross the border into their own country.
What we are seeing is a concentric attack with axes of advance all around the southern borders of Idib Province from north of Hama City, then out along Route 42 then north to up near Khanassar.
IMO the HTS do not have enough men and materiel to cover that many avenues of advance. After a period of grinding down HTS, the R+6 will break through somewhere and then a general collapse is likely to take place as the R+6 forces surge forward in exploitation across the fertile plains of Idlib Province.
I just heard General (Ret.) Keane make the claim on Fox Business News that the Russians and the Syrian Armed Forces have done little to defeat IS. How absurd! This man, a former Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army, is representative of the mindset of so many military people who struggled long against the Soviet threat and are so rigid that they cannot grasp the possibility that today's Russia is not necessarily an enemy. He reminds me of a number of very senior officers who wnnted to fight me and intimidate me to accept their view of reality even as I and my people were briefing them. This was true when I was an SES and the equivalent of a lieutenant general. Keane is chairman of the board of the neocon run Institute for the Study of War. pl