In the morning of August 21, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) resumed its advance in the southern Idlib countryside and captured the village of Tar’i and its key hilltop from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.
By capturing the village and its hill, army units are now 7km away from the Tiger Forces, which are stationed on the Damascus-Aleppo highway north of the town of Khan Shaykhun.
A day earlier, opposition activists claimed that militants are withdrawing from their enclave in northern Hama. However, these claims were proven to be false.
The SAA is carefully working to besiege the remaining militants’ positions in northern Hama. Hundreds of fighters from HTS and its allies are reportedly still hiding in the region.
With the army closing in, the fate of a Turkish observation post in northern Hama remains unclear. Ankara said it will not withdraw its post. However, the SAA is clearly determined to capture the entire region.