The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has sent large reinforcements to northern Hama. By this move, the SAA aims to stall the advance of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies which are now deployed in about 6 kilometers from the provincial capital.
According to sources embedded with the SAA, a large number of Tiger Forces members was deployed to the Hama front from the eastern countryside of Aleppo. The newly deployed units were mostly fire support groups equipped with Grad BM-21 multiple rocket launcher systems and howitzers.
Furthermore, 5th Storming Corps units deployed in Palmyra were relocated to boost government defenses around Hama.
The 5th Storming Corps is well-equipped due to a sponsorship from Russia and has shown itself as a capable military force during the operations near Palmyra.
The Lions of the Desert, a special forces unit belonging to the the Air Forces Intelligence Service branch of the Syrian Arab Army have also arrived to strengthen the government forces in northern Hama. The Lions of the Desert played a major role in the defense of the T4 Airbase from the ISIS terrorist group. Earlier, they actively participated in an anti-ISIS military campaign in the eastern Qalamoun region.
The Russian Aerospace Forces have intensified airstrikes in the Hama countryside and in southern Idlib, pounding jihadist positions, armored vehicles and battle tanks. Su-34 and Su-24 bombers along with Mi-28N and Mi-35M helicopter gunships are invloved.
It is expected that the militant advance in northern Hama will lost momentum in the coming days. Then, the Syrian military may decide to launch a counter-attack in an attempt to retake the lost areas. Government fores will likely seek to flank the militant defenses from the direction of Ma’an. This could allow to encircle units of HTS and other groups deployed close to the provincial capital.