In the evening of December 23, the Syrian Army and its allies liberated the town of Jarjnaz and several nearby points thus encircling the Turkish observation post near Surman and opening a corridor to advance on Maarat al-Numan.
According to pro-government sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other militant groups are right now negotiating a surrender of Maarat al-Numan to the Damascus government and the reopening of the M5 highway in an attempt to stop the further army advance by ‘diplomatic measures’. Taking into account that words and promises of the al-Qaeda-linked “moderate opposition” do not worth a dump, it’s unlikely that such a deal will be made.
In the near future, government forces will likely consolidate their gains in southern Idlib and push to liberate the town of Maarat al-Numan by force. This will become an important step in clearing the entire southern Idlib from the terrorist threat.