The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Tiger Forces are conducting active security operations in the recently liberated parts of northern Hama and southern Idlib. The goal of the effort is to remove mines and improvised explosive devices, uncover weapons depots, HQs and other infrastructure objects abandoned by militants and hunt down remaining cells of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other radical groups.
For example, the SAA seized a large HQ and a network of underground tunnels, which had belonged to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Jaish al-Izza in the vicinity of Khan Shaykhun.
Pro-government sources also released photos showing a decoy tank near Kafr Zita. A destroyed M-46 130mm artillery piece and a pick-up truck were spotted near. The decoy apparently did not help militants to avoid airstrikes.
Russian forces have started deployment near the Turkish observation post located near the town of Murak recently liberated by government forces. After the collapse of militants’ defense in the Khan Shaykhun countryside, Turkish troops at the Murak post found themselves encircled by the SAA. Most likely, the Russians came to rescue the Turks from warm greetings of the Syrian military that knows well about Ankara’s efforts to support radical militants in the area.
US and Turkish officials conducted the first joint reconnaissance flight, the Pentagon has said. This development followed establishment of the joint coordination center earlier in august, spokesman Sean Robertson said.
On August 26, President Tayyip Erdogan declared that the US and Turkey are slowly “making progress” to establish a safe zone there. He promised that Turkish troops will soon enter northwestern Syria, which is now controlled by US-backed Kurdish armed groups. If this happens, this will likely cause a local crisis and increase tensions in the area. Kurdish armed groups that rejected negotiations with Damascus hoped that the US will protect them from Turkey and help to create own state within Syria.