The only thing Assad has going for him is those airstrikes, which need to be used during the fighting and with great precision. The Syrian AF isn't capable of this, while the Russians are. Without the Air Force, I doubt he can liberate Idlib.
He needs to make those blind charges, The airforce cannot do enough damage alone to force the rebels back. The fighting in Idlib is much more complicated then you think.
Assad at this point has slightly more manpower than the rebels not by much either, If we count the FSA then Assad has fewer men really.
Hama Airfield was attacked with Surface to Air Missiles, Assad's plan is getting targetted by AA weaponry and cannot conduct airstrikes well because of it.
Assad lost over six tanks today alone thanks to Kornets. He is bleeding very badly and he hasn't even reached Kahn Shuyakan yet. This battle is getting bloody and fast.
Let me make this clear for you, if this rate of attrition keeps up for the SAA, they will not be able to liberate Idlib.
Assad have over 5,000 Tanks when the war began.. some hundred of them where T-72..
and they had reactive armor and there are videos , plenty of them ,of T-72 being hit by RPGs several times and don't go down.. according to one Syrian tank commander , on anna news interview.. the Russian tanks have been very good for them.. and when get damages
they can be repaired quickly in a matter of hours or days.. When the reporter tried to pressure him with the question ,of whether Russian T-72 were good.. he told that the only
thing give them more problems are mines.. Because to repair tanks hit by mines takes more time ,since the engine have to be removed.. etc etc.. Im sure i have seen videos of Kornets in Syria in rebels hands right from the start of the war .. in 2011.. Point is those T-72 tanks
have very little technology inside ,just a piece of metal..and so they are easy to repair..most times.. Soldiers can die for sure but the tank most times can be repaired.
You downplay the syrian army capabilities... saying that without Russia ,they will have
never done anything.. well remember the Syrian army was alone from 2011 to 2015..
so it was 4 years they had to hold... more than 75,000 terrorist armed,financed and trained by NATO. with NATO special forces and airforce help. and United Nations help.. with demanding ceases of fires when rebels losing and humanitarian corridors.
Stephan de mixtura ,the so called negotiator for peace in Syria ,was demanding Assad
to give Autonomy to the Free Syrian army (Alqaeda) ,when they controlled eastern aleppo
This is how sick that people are and how difficult is the war ..that not only needs to fight with bullets..but with politics too.. and on top suffer US and Europe sanctions on Syria
to break their economy.. while NATO helps Alqaeda and ISIS to over run syria..
So im sure without Russia , Syria already will have been over run ,after 4 years of wars..
the Syrian army reach their limits.. but how far you think those so called "Rebels" could have lasted without US,Turkey,Jordan,israel ,and EU support?
How long those rebels will have lasted without endless food supplies from Turkey ? endless munition supplies? without NATO logistics , Drones they receive.. TNT that NATO supply rebels.. trainning.. and artillery shells.. How long can 75,000 rebels last fighting without food supplies ,? if Turkey for example and NATO dropped support for rebels in northen Syria.. how long they will last? The Jihadist Rebels will have not lasted not even 6 months fighting against Syrian army without NATO support.. ,trainning ,financing, and weapons supplies ,kornets, bullets and bombs those things are not manufactured in the desert.. you need a foreign nation to provide it to them.. and since Russia joined the war ,they have been retreating almost in all fronts.. means not capturing much munition or supplies... So much that now Turkey army supply the terrorist directlyl with their own Armored infantry vehicles.. To make story short.. Syrian army is fighting NATO major powers and Israel ,Turkey and Jordan too..by proxy in Syria.. and without the interference of those dozens of countries... Russian presence will be not need at all in Syria.. since the Syrian army
was winning until ISIS came.. + Kurds betrayed Syria , allowing ISIS to sneak into RAQQA
without a fight.. then Turkey ARmy helped Alqaeda to capture Idlib. If No foreign nation interfere in the fight.. Russia presence in Syria will be not needed at all.. and those rebels crushed in just weeks or couple of months.. from 2011 to 2013 ,Syria was in control of most of their country.. they had more control of Syria in 2013.. than the one they have today.. that lost Idlib and most of Kurdish zones.. then have US bases in Syria in the eastern desert. Those thousands of brand new toyota pickup trucks.. were not manufactured in IDLIB or Northen Syria you know more than that.. and neither those hundreds of Drones
with GPS positioning attacking Russian base with hundred of kilometers distance ,according to Russia military ,and with Artificiall intelligence did not came from a camel ass.. Those are fully supplied by NATO ,and provided satellite intelligence and trainning. Alqaeda and ISIS were just frontline fighters of NATO , their secrets armies,, and US and Israel airforce is terrorist airforce. and Turkey territory and Jordan ,their biggest supply zone of food ,weapons and medical assistance too. So is a miracle that Syria is still standing ,
because the support of Russia is limited in terms of airforce close ground support..
in my opinion. after Putin complete disaster foreign policy , of not preventing the Syrian war, knowing well , Syria will become in the hit list with IRAN if befriend Russia.. the less
worse thing Russia can do is now help Syria , but in a long term war.. little by little , in a slow way , so that Russia economy could handle it.. and they help Syria with a limited force there.. otherwise.. if Syria liberates all rebels positions in IDLIB tomorrow ,even if Russia could do that.. Turkey army will start a war against Syria.. So it will be a new major war.
So a long term war is the less worse option for Russia.. the only one that will allow Russia
to help Syria with a small airforce recover most territory or (all of it with some diplomatic luck).. and without spending a fortune or suffering major casualties the Russian army.