Regime forces are advancing constantly in the vicinity of Ma'arat al-Nuaman city on the expense of Turkish mercenaries. They reached the outskirts of Ma'arat al-Nuaman, hundreds of meters away and cut under fire the international road ,Aleppo-Damascus and supply routes of the mercenaries there, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Ma'ara (Ma'rat al-Nuaman) city is located south of Idlib, 84 km from Aleppo and 60 km from Hama.
The military importance of Ma'arat al-Nuaman, stems from the fact that it is the most important stronghold of mercenary groups on the most vital road linking Aleppo with the capital Damascus, known as M5, or as the road of the Russian-Turkish Sochi agreement on Idlib.
M5 or the international road, which the regime and Russia are seeking to regain from the control of mercenary groups, is of such particular strategic importance not only for Syria, but also the neighboring countries that shares borders with. That justifies the Syrian regime's massive military campaign to control it.
The road known as the "M5 International Highway" acquires military and economic strategic importance in the Middle East, as it links northern Syria to the south. Mercenary groups controlled nearly 100 km of this road from Al -Rashidin point west of Aleppo to the city of Khan Sheikhoun south of Idlib, before the regime started crawling into the road and nibbling the areas that lead to it.
M5 is divided into three sections: the first one is from Damascus to Aleppo, which the regime and Russia were able to take control of large parts of after the "settlements" agreements in both Damascus and Homs country sides, all the way to the northern rural Hama, and southern Idlib.
The second part is the pro-Turkey mercenary-controlled side, from the towns of Al-Teih and Kafr Sajna to the city of Ma'arat al-Nuaman, which runs through the international road to the city of Saraqeb to the north in Idlib countryside.
The third section is the northern section known as Aleppo-Gaziantep road, where the regime and Russia control the road that runs from Aleppo, while mercenary groups control the road in the northern towns of Aleppo from Hireitan and Anadan to Bayanon, about 12 km away.