Last weekend, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the National Defense Forces (NDF), led by the SAA’s Tiger Forces, recaptured the strategic town of Souran and the Bizam Hill in the northern Hama countryside.
On Monday, clashes continued in the vicinity of Taibat al-Imam and government forces advanced on Tell Massin. Controlling Tell Massin, the SAA and its allies will be able to secure a part of the M5 highway north of Taibat al-Imam and to pose a threat to the HTS stronghold from this direction.
If the Syrian military command decides to continue operations in the area, it will have two options:
- The first option is to storm Taibat al-Imam from the directions of Souran and Maardas. In this case, the SAA and its allies will be engaged in heavy clashes in the heavily fortified urban area of the city. This will likely lead to a notable casualties and will not lead to a success if government forces are not able to create a dramatic advantage in manpower, tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery pieces in this part of the frontline.
- Another option is to develop the advance in the western direction in an attempt to seize Buwaydah, Markabah and Lahaya. If government forces are able to do this and to entrench in the area, HTS militants and its allies remaining in Taibat al-Imam, Masasnah, Kfair al-Taiba, Zor al-Heisa and Halfaya will face significant problems in defending their rear and repelling front attacks of government forces.