Mahir Zeynalov, SundaysZaman, May 11, 2013
Assad started to smile when his brutal army made some gains in Idlib. Following weeks of intense offensives in Aleppo, Idlib and Damascus suburbs, government forces outflanked the opposition forces and broke through the opposition line that ringed the Wadi al-Deif and Hamidiya military bases in Idlib province on April 14. This enabled the Syrian army to bolster its groups fighting in northern Syria. The successful assault in Idlib also opened up a strategic highway to Aleppo — a business hub deadlocked over battles between rival forces.