The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) reached the western entrance of the town of Khan Shaykhun in the southern countryside of Idlib after capturing the villages of Kafr Ayn, Tall Aas, Khirbat Murshid and Mantar.
Pro-government sources said that army units secured the four villages early on August 14 after hours of heavy clashes with Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies.
Khan Shaykhun is located on the highway linking the Syrian capital, Damascus, with the city of Aleppo, the country’s industrial center. The town is also considered the gateway to the southern Idlib countryside.
SAA troops are now reportedly situated only 2km away from Khan Shaykun’s western district. The assault on the town could begin in any given minute.
Despite reaching the western entrance of Khan Shaykhun, the SAA is still advancing east of the town. Army units are now attacking a key hilltop in the area.