Late on August 14, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) resumed its ground operations west of the town of Khan Shaykhun in southern Idlib and managed to capture two new villages.
According to pro-government sources, army units secured the villages of Umm Zaytunah and Kafr Tab under the cover of heavy Russian and Syrian airstrikes.
Earlier, the SAA reached the western entrance of Khan Shaykhun after imposing control of the villages of Kafr Ayn, Tall Aas, Khirbat Murshid and Mantar. More than 45 radical militants were reportedly killed during the clashes in these four villages.
By advancing towards Khan Shaykhun, the army is working to besiege the remaining positions of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and its allies in northern Hama.
SAA troops are now only 4km away from Khan Shaykhun’s center. The assault on the town could begin soon, according to pro-government activists.