In the late hours of July 10, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies launched a surprise attack on the government-held town of al-Hamameyat in the northern Hama countryside.
Pro-government activists said that the terrorist group’s fighters managed to storm al-Hamameyat only. Following a couple of hours of heavy clashes, they imposed full control over the town and its main hill. According to HTS’ news agency, Iba’a, the militants destroyed a battle tank and a Shilka vehicle of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
Last April, the SAA launched a limited ground operation around Idlib. In the first few weeks, the army made significant advance. However, a series of one-sided ceasefires allowed HTS and its allies to gain the initiative.
The SAA also demonstrated poor organization, tactics and battle management skills on the battlefield. These elements played in favor of HTS and its allies, which had been preparing their troops for months.
HTS and its allies will likely take advantage of this breakthrough and work to develop their offensive in the upcoming few hours. The SAA will have to adjust its tactics before the situation takes a more dangerous turn.