On December 30, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces, backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces, captured the villages of Atshan, Tall Maraq, Abu Omar, al-Nasiriyah, Jaddu’ah, al-Salumiyah and Zatar Hill, according to the SAA media department. The source said that the SAA killed several fighters of HTS during its advance.
Meanwhile, Syrian pro-government activists claimed that the aim of the ongoing SAA attack is to secure the northern Hama countryside by capturing the town of Khan Shaykhun in the southern Idlib countryside as well as the towns of al-Lataminah and Murak in the northern Hama countryside. Only after securing these important points, the SAA will begin its operation towards the Abu al-Duhur Airbase in the southwestern Aleppo countryside, according to these sources.
Russian warplanes even started caryying out airstrikes on HTS positions and vehicles in al-Lataminah, according to Syrian opposition sources.
From its side, the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement announced that it had deployed dozens of its fighters in the southern Idlib countryside to counter the SAA and its allies. The deployment of al-Zenki fighters confirms that the defense of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham is collapsing in southern Idlib under the pressure of the SAA.