The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured early on August 18 several large farms west and northwest of Khan Shaykhun in a move aimed at encircling the key town.
According to pro-government sources, the SAA secured the farms of Nijm, Nisr and al-Safar which are located 1,5-1km away from Khan Shaykhun in southern Idlib.
Meanwhile, the army continued its advance northwest of Khan Shaykhun imposing control of the al-Nar hill, one of the highest points in the region. The hill was reportedly captured following heavy clashes with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.
By expanding its control in Khan Shaykhun’s outskirt and capturing al-Nar hill, the SAA managed to cut the militant’s supply lines west of the town. The army also made a huge step towards the Damascus-Aleppo highway.
The SAA will likely advance further around Khan Shaykhun in the upcoming few hours. Russian and Syrian warplanes are now pounding the remaining militants’ positions inside the town.