Syrian War Report – April 21, 2017: Battle For Northern Hama

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On April 20, the northern Hama frontline experienced a major breakthrough when government forces, led by the Syrian Army’s Tiger Forces and 5th Legion, captured the strategic militant-held town of Taibat al-Imam. Government forces had entered the town from the southeastern direction following intense artillery and air strikes and pushed members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and allied militant groups to withdraw from the town after a 8-hours long battle. After the withdrawal of the so-called opposition, pro-militant media activists released a number of contradictory reports that up to 80 “regime soldiers” were killed in the clashes. Nevertheless, with no proofs this looked like a wishful thinking. In turn, two leaders of Jaish al-Izza, “Saher al-Saleh” and “Muhammad Jallad” were confirmed to be killed as a result of the artillery strikes.

HTS, Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Izza sent large reinforcements to the area and launched a powerful counter-attack. Clashes were ongoing in the town during the night. By the April 21 morning, the Tiger Forces and the 5th Legion reportedly regained the initiative once again pushing militants from the town.

On April 20, government forces also attempted to advance on Halfaya and al-Tarabia but the attack was repelled. Since then, militant positions in Halfaya and in the nearby areas have been under artillery shelling.

If government forces fully secure the Taibat al-Imam, this will lead to a collapse of militant defenses around the town and Halfaya will become the next major target of the operation.

The 5th Corps leadership has reportedly opened its headquarters in the northern Hama countryside. The Syrian Arab Army’s group is now working to increase the number of volunteers in its ranks in order to expand military operations across Syria. Commanders of the 5tn Corps declared that the current objective of the Syrian Army is to liberate the entire countryside of Hama from HTS and its allies and then the eastern Salamya countryside from ISIS.

A Russian military adviser has been killed during clashes with militants in a Syrian government forces camp, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on April 20. According to the ministry, Major Sergei Bordov was in the camp with a group of Russian military advisers training Syrian soldiers when the militant attack took place. Bordov helped establish the defense line and directed Syrian troops during the clashes. It is not clear in which part of Syria the incident took place.

Ussoud Al-Shatkiah [one of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups] captured the Al-Alyaniyah area, east of the “abandoned military base” in the Syrian Desert, according to pro-militant sources. According pro-FSA sources, in the coming weeks Syria will witness a start of the widely expected military operation supported by US-led coalition forces and a direct participation of some Jordanian and US forces. The operation will aim to capture the Syrian Desert all the long to the strategic town of Al-Bukamal at the Iraqi-Syrian border. These forces will also work on destroying the Al-Khalid Army, a part of ISIS in the western Daraa countryside. FSA groups that will allegedly participate in the operation are the Army of Al-Asha’er, Ussoud Al-Shatkiah Army, and Maghawir Al-Thawra Army. Earlier reports appeared, that the US was concentrating troops and military equipment and the Syrian-Jordanian border.

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  • Xanatos

    If the US and Jordanians attack isis by daraa they will be attacking a militia armed and supported by israel, where they draw their supplies and send their wounded.

    This is not israels original intent, which was to set up a puppet Warlord on the Syrian side of their Golan border. An occupying force of us and Jordan is by nature temporary and a new puppet will have to backed to secure this area when they us and Jordan forces leave. Israel’s isis foray in this area is a lost investment.

    • Bill Wilson

      Are you kidding me? That ISIS affiliate was a small batch of local screwballs who were stuck for the longest time deep in the SW corner’s river valley. Over the years they attracted more fighters which enabled them to move up onto higher ground and battle “moderates” and al-Nusra for territory. They would win some then get pushed back out so they would attack elsewhere and got the same results until recently, which is probably due to the contested villages being abandoned since they were blown to bits.
      HTS (al-Nusra) recently made nice with them and had them join their ranks. Assad shouldn’t complain if the FSA / USA / Jordanians come in to clear them out from that corner and along the border. That’ll relieve the SAA forces in Daraa now under attack, help staunch the flow of smuggled arms across the border and allow normal commercial traffic to resume between the two countries.

      • Keith Smith

        ISIS is wahabi same as saudi, they are saudi mercs who the US are trying to manage after filling their ranks and arming them.

      • CyricRenner

        Good point. I don’t trust this US is involved with though. Its clear though the SAA cannot do much with Daraa at the moment other than maintain the status quo. Really impressive gains in Hama though. I think the Russians have realized that this war has to end soon before an “American” intervention takes place. They are committing troops aka “advisers” in greater numbers now and bringing in better equipment.

        • Bubba Junior

          I think you have a valid point there. It seems the SAA’s combat capabilities have surpassed most peoples wildest dreams.

  • Pampi Ta

    Go the SAA, go !!

  • Stephen

    On half military strength Syria cannot fight against terrorists.
    Syrian government needs to increase their well trained military power strength with powerful equipments because they are fighting against the terrorists which are the world best army of America and UK.

    • EL ZORRO

      Syria is fighting agains the UNITED STATES, ISRAEL, SAUDI ARABIA, UK, NATO, FRANCE, JORDAN, QATAR, TURKEY and is beating them all. BRAVO FOR THE SYRIAN PEOPLE, THEY HAVE ALL MY RESPECT.

      • Stephen

        In your list, the main governments are US and UK, the remaining all are terrorist proxy governments that committed high treasons.

  • Tim Hadfield

    Kill them all.

  • Tim Hadfield

    Big mistake letting the UK, USA and Jordanians in – they will be impossible to get rid of.
    Don’t end up like Iraq.

  • Stephen

    Please Crush all US and UK proxies and spies on the ground.