The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) deployed more units and heavy weapons in the northern Lattakia countryside and the northwestern Hama countryside, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on August 8.
Several sources familiar with the situation in northern Syria told the pro-opposition monitoring group that the SAA and its allies are preparing to launch a military operation. According to the sources, the operation will cover northern Lattakia, the al-Ghab Plains and the city of Jisr al-Shughur in the northwestern Idlib countryside.
In a related development, the SOHR said that the SAA artillery and rocket launchers continue to shell positions of militants in the northern Lattakia countryside and the northwestern Hama countryside. The shelling is likely the first stage of the upcoming operation.
According to local observers, northern Lattakia, the al-Ghab Plains and Jisr al-Shughur are strongholds of several radical groups such as Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), Horas al-Din and the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP). These groups violate the de-escalation agreement in northern Syria, which was agreed by Russia, Turkey and Iran, on a regular basis.