In the afternoon of August 16, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) advanced northwest of the key town of Khan Shaykhun and captured three new villages.
Sources close to the elite Tiger Forces confirmed that the army secured the villages of Khirbat Abidin, Hursh al-Tawilah and Mughr Hunta. SAA soldiers reportedly killed and injured many militants during the clashes in the three villages.
As usual, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies didn’t comment on the army’s advance and declined to reveal their losses, which will likely surface in the upcoming few hours.
Earlier, army units imposed control of the town of Madayah and al-Arjahi hilltop, to the east of the three newly-captured villages.
The SAA is apparently working to secure its rear, instead of storming Khan Shaykhun whose western entrance is under its fire control. This move took the militants by surprise.
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