On February 3, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) recaptured the villages of Tulayhat, Abu Kusur and Ma’saran from ISIS in the northeastern Hama countryside, according to the Hezbollah media wing in Syria. Four days ago, the SAA and its allies recaptured Al-Aww, Abyan and Jubb Zrayq villages south of the village of Ma’saran.
Syrian pro-government sources reported on February 2 that the SAA and its allies will boost their operations against the besieged ISIS fighters in the northeastern Hama countryside. These anti-ISIS operations are aimed at securing the SAA rear during its advance in southern Idlib, according to the sources.
Experts believe that there are few hundreds of ISIS fighters in the northeastern Hama pocket. While these fighters are poorly armed, they are considered highly experienced as many of them participated in ISIS attacks in Deir Ezzor, Homs and Hama between 2014 and 2017.
ISIS fighters in the northeastern Hama countryside didn’t conduct any offensive or defensive operations against the SAA in the last few days. This could mean that the terrorist group is trying to avoid any serious clashes with the SAA, until it is able to reorganize its units there.