On September 8, warplanes of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) began conducting airstrikes on positions of militants in northern Hama and southern Idlib in what appears to be final preparations of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to launch a ground attack in the region.
A source in the SAA told the Syrian news outlet Muraselon that the long-awaited military operation of the SAA against the remaining militants in northwestern Syria has begun. According to the source, the SAA will advance simultaneously from several directions once the ground attack is launched.
Nine civilians were killed a day earlier, when the militants shelled the Christian town of Mahardah in the northern Hama countryside. Back then, Syrian pro-government activists expected that the SAA and its allies will lunch their long-awaited operation as a response.
According to local observers, the main targets of the upcoming attack of SAA are the Ghab Plains in northwestern Hama, the Turkman mount in northern Lattakia and possibly the key city of Jisr al-Shughur in northwestern Idlib. Thousands of radical fighters are believed to be hiding in these areas.