On August 3, heavy clashes erupted between units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and fighters of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) near the town of Sirmaniyah in the northwestern Hama countryside, according to the HTS-linked news network Iba’a.
Some Syrian opposition activists said that the clashes were triggered by an attack of the al-Qaeda-affiliated group, Horas al-Din, on a position of the SAA near Sirmaniyah. However, others claimed that HTS repelled an attack of the SAA and its allies.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the SAA artillery and rocket launchers shelled several villages and towns in the northern and northwestern Hama countryside during the clashes. The key city of Jisr al-Shughur in the northwestern Idlib countryside was also shelled by the SAA, according to the pro-opposition monitoring group.
The clashes reveal a high level of turbulence among militants in northern Syria, who believe that their remaining positions in the governorate of Idlib, Lattakia and Hama will be the next target of the SAA and its allies.