Assad forces make new gains in Syria

The Syrian army captured five new towns in north of the city of Saraqeb in the countryside of Idlib province in northwestern Syria on Thursday, state news agency SANA reported.

With this progress, the army exposed the road connecting Saraqeb with Aleppo in northern Syria, said the report.

The progress comes as the Syrian army captured the city of Saraqeb, the second most important city that will enable the Syrian army to capture the road connecting Hama with Aleppo through Idlib.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the army stormed Saraqeb on Wednesday while the official SANA news agency broke the news on Thursday.

The progress toward Saraqeb comes days after the Syrian forces captured the city of Maarat al-Numan in the southern countryside of Idlib, which was the first big achievement toward securing the main Damascus-Aleppo highway.

The Syrian army has for weeks been fighting the rebels in the countryside of Idlib and Aleppo to secure the main highway linking Hama province in central Syria with Aleppo.

This highway also connects with the Damascus-Hama highway, which will enable the army to secure the main road between Damascus and Aleppo without reroutes.