February 12, 2018 - 18:47 AMT
Syrian army unleashes major offensive in Rastan pocket

The Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitaries have launched a new offensive operation against armed groups in a large militant enclave straddling the provincial border of Homs and Hama, Al-Masdar N.

On Monday, February 12, military-affiliated sources reported that the Syrian Army and its allies are kicking off a new offensive against militant forces in the Rastan pocket – located in parts of northern Homs and southern Hama province.

At present, Syrian pro-government forces are storming the Rastan pocket from southeast Hama and have entered into and captured most of the town of Maqsam al-Hamrat amid intense clashes with rebel fighters.

The new offensive by the Syrian Army comes following the decisive conclusion of operations in Idlib for the time being.

Russia has made multiple attempts since 2017 to implement an effective ceasefire in the militant-held Rastan region.

However, multiple violations of the deescalation agreement by rebel forces, who shell and raid nearby government-held towns (almost) has pushed the Syrian Army to now undertake a full-scale military operation to neutralize the threat emanating from Rastan and its surrounding area.