Intense clashes are ongoing in the Hama countryside where the joint forces of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) oppose the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies.
Militants are still strugging to fully capture Ma’ardes but they have not been able to do this after days of non-stop firefights.
According to opposition sources, HTS successfully repelled an advance of the SAA on Helfaya destroying a tank and 57mm gun in Rahbat al-Khattab. HTS also continued to shell government forces positions and civilian areas in Mahardeh and Qamhana.
The Russian and Syrian Air Forces carried out a series of powerful strikes that targeted HTS and FSA positions in Al-Lataminah, Ma’arrat Al-Nu’man, Ma’artaherma, and Basida.
Separately, more and more photos appear in the social media depicting large convoys of the SAA’s Tiger Forces and the Republican Guard heading to northern Hama ahead of the expected large-scale offensive to retake this area from militants. Ma’ardes, Sawran, Al-Lataminah, Taybat al-Imam, and Morek will likely become the first target of government forces.
The SAA and its allies could also attempt to reach Khan Sheikhoun to launch an independent investigation on the chemical incident.
Photos of reinforcements moving to northern Hama: