"The Syrian Arab Army’s 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard has gotten off to a fast start this week, capturing several key regions from the Al-Nusra Front, the Free Syrian Army’s 'Liwaa Suqour Al-Ghaab,' and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham terrorist groups in northeast regions of Latakia province."
Syria's National Defense Forces, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party and Syrian Resistance also took part in the offensives against terrorists in the northern countryside areas of Latakia.
"In a matter of four days, the Syrian Armed Forces have seized over 100 square kilometers from terrorists in Northeastern Latakia; this is likely to increase in the coming days as the pro-government forces eye the rebel stronghold of Salma," reported Fars."
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20151209/1031497423/syria-lattakia-army-liberate.html#ixzz3twAiNALF
"Syrian government forces backed by Iranian troops edged closer to a major rebel-controlled highway south of Aleppo on Tuesday, pushing further into insurgent-held areas supported by heavy Russian air strikes.
After seizing a series of villages including Zitan, Humaira and Qalaajiya, the army said it had thrust to the outskirts of Zirba and encircled the town of Khan Touman, an advance rebels said had left them outgunned from the air and ground.
The aim of government forces appeared to be to cut the main Aleppo-Damascus highway that fighters use to transport supplies from rebel-held Idlib province to the north." Reuters
You can see from this reporting that the kesselschlacht battle to be fought in Idlib is shaping up nicely. The rebels (of various persuasions) will have to fight hard to try to hold the M5 highway open to the south from Aleppo and that will make them superb targets out in that open country. IMO the expectation of large numbers of surrenders/defections from the rebel forces grows greater by the day. Faced with all the Russian fire power and in the face of a reinvigorated SAA and their allies the temptation to experience a "come to Bashar" moment will be very strong. pl