This morning, government forces have launched a fresh atack against Hayat Tahir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and its allied militant groups in the northern countryside of the Syrian city of Hama.
The goal of the operation is to retake an important militant-held town of Halfaya located east of Mahardeh and north of Khattab recently captured by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and other pro-government formations.
The government attack started from heavy artillery strikes targeting militant positions inside and outside Halfaya and a firefight erupted in the area between Halfaya and Mahardeh.
Pro-government sources believe that the SAA and its allies will attempt to enter Halfaya later today after the end of the fire preparation. However, if government forces decide to advance on Halfaya only from the eastern direction, the attack will likely result in no gains.
Government forces have to develop a momentum at least from two directions (for example from the east and from the south) to have notable chances to regain this important town from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies.