Syrian War Report – April 17, 2017: Govt Forces Reversed All Militant Gains In Northern Hama

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Last weekend, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the National Defense Forces (NDF), led by the SAA’s Tiger Forces, recaptured the strategic town of Souran and the Bizam Hill located north of the Ma’ardes village in the northern Hama countryside. The successful advance followed a massive bombing campaign in the area. Over 50 airstrikes reportedly hit militant positions around Souran. Thus, the SAA reversed all gains made by Haya’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and its allied militant groups last month and reached the strategic M5 highway north of another militant stronghold – Taibat al-Imam.

HTS claimed its fighters had destroyed an SAA tank around the town. Separately, Jaish Al-Ezzah and Jaish Al-Nasser – shelled the Hama airbase with over 40 Grad rockets. The rockets caused a fire and damaged the control tower. Nonetheless, the airbase is still operational and no jets were destroyed.

On Monday, clashes continued in the vicinity of Taibat al-Imam and government forces advanced on Tell Massin. Controlling Tell Massin, the  SAA and its allies will be able to secure a part of the M5 highway north of Taibat al-Imam and to pose a threat to the HTS stronghold from this direction. If the Syrian military command decides to continue operations in the area, it will have two options:

  1. The first option is to storm Taibat al-Imam from the directions of Souran and Maardas. In this case, the SAA and its allies will be engaged in heavy clashes in the heavily fortified urban area of the city. This will likely lead to a notable casualties and will not lead to a success if government forces are not able to create a dramatic advantage in manpower, tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery pieces in this part of the frontline.
  2. Another option is to develop the advance in the western direction in an attempt to seize Buwaydah, Markabah and Lahaya. If government forces are able to do this and to entrench in the area, HTS militants and its allies remaining in Taibat al-Imam, Masasnah, Kfair al-Taiba, Zor al-Heisa and Halfaya will face significant problems in defending their rear and repelling front attacks of government forces.

Clashes between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and HTS-led forces continued in the Qaboun district in northeastern Damascus. The SAA targeted militant positions with more than 10 heavy rockets and carried out an attempt to advance but without any success. Separately, Ahrar Al-Sham fighters destroyed a T-72 Shafrah tank after it was hit by what appeared to be a heavy IED. The Syrian Air Force bombed HTS and Jaish al-Islam positions in Jobar and Qaboun.

Separately, Syrian warplanes carried out airstrikes against ISIS positions in Raqqah after receiving more info from the Iraqi intelligence. The Syrian Air Force destroyed a HQ of ISIS’ Hesbah (religious police) and the ISIS finance ministry building. Airstrikes also destroyed the ISIS Fatwa council inside Raqqah. Two ISIS commanders were killed. One of them is “Abu Bakr Bin Habib Al-Hakim” a France-Algerian terrorist. He was described as a military leader of ISIS in Raqqah.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), supported by the US-led collation, are storming the ISIS stronghold of Tabqa west of Raqqah. The SDF had already taken control of the Aeed Al-Saker neighborhood in the western part of the town and the Al-Eskandaria neighborhood in its eastern part. SDF fighters reportedly destroyed 2 VBIEDs and killed up to 30 ISIS members in clashes inside the town.

The SDF also captured the village of Kabash Ghribi in the northern Raqqah countryside. Kabash Ghribi was the second village captured by SDF after the group had croossed the Al-Ray water channel.

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  • Miguel Redondo

    fine

  • ChiefWiggum

    I would try to encircle Hama front, at the the south of Al-Lataminah we seem to see most of the HTS manpower and artillery. HTS it’s a militar union, not political, so their future lies on their militar success, which it’s being not very good, if they are captured and defeated will not only be a turning point in the hama campaign, but also in the future political alliances of the rebel groups. We would see how desertions and internal clashes would heavily increase

  • FreddyB

    Syrian army is gaining ground… time for another oops by the US and it’s allies.

  • Aleks Black

    Right Again, the next move will be to incircle the militants, and savage artillery bashings from the Bizam Hill. Laugh as they try to escape escape north without access to a major highway, and russian air-force and helicopters turns them to charcoal in Syrian country side.

    I would like to see a Sy development towards Kafr Zayta from the western direction. This threat would force the rebels to split their force, even if slightly credible.

    I like the idea of leaving Tayyibat al imam alone under siege and proceeding north towards Muran which is a far scarier move for the rebels. No need to go Braveheart, just isolate the pocket.

  • Jake Frizzell

    Deep State – Pax Judaica being stomped again. Awaiting the final battle. Hoping Trump unbricks his admin before the liberators close in as he (and family) will meet the same fate otherwise.

    • Thegr8rambino

      What?

  • Douglas Houck

    “Separately, Syrian warplanes carried out airstrikes against ISIS positions in Raqqah after receiving more info from the Iraqi intelligence. The Syrian Air Force destroyed a HQ of ISIS’ Hesbah (religious police) and the ISIS finance ministry building. Airstrikes also destroyed the ISIS Fatwa council inside Raqqah. Two ISIS commanders were killed. One of them is “Abu Bakr Bin Habib Al-Hakim” a France-Algerian terrorist. He was described as a military leader of ISIS in Raqqah.”

    I find this most interesting, as it implies at a minimum, the Syrians are working directly with the Iraqis, and possibly with the Americans, all to defeat ISIS. That is a good thing. Top priority for everyone is still to defeat ISIS and all the jihadists, once and for all. There is going to be a lot of air strikes.

    • Aleks Black

      Syrians have been working with the Iraqis for a long time. Iraq does what Iran says. Iraq allowed cruise missile fly over and opened its air space to unlimited Iranian reinforcements into Syria. This is not a bad thing. Just saying if you look into it, you will see much evidence of cooperation.

      • Douglas Houck

        Thanks for the reply. For the short time I’ve been watching this craziness, I haven’t seen any coordination of aerial strikes around Raqqa between the two countries..Good to know that they have been working together for awhile. For this to happen means coordination with the US and allies military flights so that nobody flies into the other. Similar to what the US has with Russia. A different narrative than the one presented in the press.

        Again, thanks for the input.

        • Aleks Black

          Keep in mind, ISIS is a neighborhood problem.

  • Thegr8rambino

    I feel option number 2 is the better way to go, as trying to take taibat al imam sounds much more riskier. Option 2 sounds a lot like the pincer maneuever which SAA has used quite successfully recently :D