On August 27, joint forces of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other militant groups launched an attack on positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near the town of Abu Dali in southern Idlib. Clashes between the SAA and militants erupted in the villages of Tal Maraq, Salmuia, Jaduia, Sham Al-Hawa and Abi Omar. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham employed at least one suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device. Nonetheless, they were not able to overrun the SAA defense.
Pro-militant sources claimed that militant forces captured a battle tank and 3 armoured vehicles from the SAA. Pro-government sources reported that at least 37 militants were killed and a T-55 battle tank and a BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle belonging to them were destroyed.
The developments near Abu Dali, a Russian observation post is located in the same area, demonstrate that no real de-escalation of the situation in Idlib is possible while Hayat Tahrir al-Sham operates there.
Meanwhile, the SAA deployed a batch of reinforcements to northern Lattakia. Pro-government forces have been seeing the militant-held town of Kinsabah as a high priority target in the area. However, all previous attempts to capture it have resulted in no progress.
On August 28, pro-militant sources reported that a supposed Syrian Air Force airstrike hit a Turkish observation post near Sheir Magher in northwestern Hama. Later, it appeared that the Syrian Su-24 dropped a strike near the post causing no damage to it. The Turkish Defense Ministry also denied that any of its posts was targeted.
Radical militant groups, including Hayat Tahrlr a-Sham, often deploy their positions used to shell SAA positions near Turkish observation posts using Turkish troops as de-facto human shields.
On the same day, Jaysh al-Nasir reported that one of its field commanders, Mohamad Turki, and two of his body guards were eliminated near the town of Alhakorh. The group blamed Russian special forces.
The situation on the contact line in southern Idlib remains tense.
I can’t wait for the al-Ghab offensive. But I think Kabani has to be liberated first. The SAA would also have to liberate a chunk of the Zawiya mountains east of the al-Ghab plains in order to prevent ATGM strikes from the terrorists on the al-Ghab plain.
I agree 100% about Khabani, but could you show us where are those Al Gahbs plains? Good thinking, seem that you are good at strategic planning.
It’s the valley between Eastern Latakia and the Zawiya Mountains
… show us where are those Al Gahbs plains?
Google Earth. Near Zawiya Mountains. I just found out myself.
Too tough for now, taking the easy path north is better, and that’s eastwards first.
What do you mean with north? Towards Jisr ash-Shughur? Or towards Maarat an-Numan?
Maarat an-Numan is central Idlib and where they should be heading next. My golden rule for retaking Idlib would be this, stay as far away from the Turkish border as you can, take back all the areas farthest away from the Turkish border first and things will go easier, because the closer you get to the Turkish border the harder they’ll become. So look at a map and you’ll see what I mean, the SAA should first recover the south and west of Both Idlib and Aleppo first, but leave Latakia, Northern Hama, Northern Idlib, as well as Northwest Aleppo for last. Jisr ash-Shughur should be the last place to retake, the longer the SAA leaves that place alone means the longer the SAA doesn’t have to put up with their civilian tantrums after they’re victorious, and the SAA will have to shoot less of them to keep the peace too, which would make the SAA look bad if they were doing it for too long. And they’re going to have to shoot lots of civilians to keep the peace up there, it’s totally lawless due to the fanatics that live there, they may have to shoot just as many civilians as terrorists up there, since there’s not that much difference between the two in Jisr ash-Shughur and it’s surrounding areas.
So you mean the SAA needs to shoot civilians? The civilians there aren’t anti-government, they are just scared to show this, otherwise they’d be imprisoned or executed of course with the pretext of being pro-government spies. Btw do you know how the SAA can save the civilians from the liberated areas, as most of the towns they liberate ultimately turn into ghost towns, as civilians from these towns just flee alongside with the terrorists when the SAA advances, so almost no civilians remain in the towns, which will be liberated. Do these civilians have to live under the terrorists until Idlib is fully liberated?
Yes, as much as it horrifies you, the SAA will have to kill civilians when they start trying to retake places like Jisr ash-Shughur and it’s surrounding areas, as well as northern Latakia and a lot of western Aleppo, does that surprise you, it shouldn’t, the SAA knows what the situation will be like, even worse than it was when they retook Ghouta. If you think I’m being harsh you should refresh your memory by examining the way that operation unfolded, Ghouta was a textbook case for understanding how fanatical civilians affect the way the SAA operates. And if you bother to do as I suggest and actually examine that operation in Ghouta to help understand why so many civilians were killed in that offensive, you might get an idea of what’s going to happen in the places that have a very similar, or sometimes even stronger fanatical following. Most people are unaware of the fact most of the civilians in the areas the SAA has just retaken in Idlib and Hama, actually tried to reconcile with the Syrian government last year, but because HTS and Al Nusra fighters killed the leaders of the various reconciliation groups, it ended the official talks. But it didn’t end the secret talks, and by May of last year, most of the civilians had already left all the small villages and towns in those areas the SAA has just recaptured, allowing the SAA to bomb the hell out of the terrorists that remained. But to the North it will be different, the civilians won’t leave their homes, they’ll pick up guns, send their children to checkpoints laden with explosives, lay booby traps and mines, kidnap SAA soldiers, kill their fellow civilians that want to run away, and basically do everything the civilians in Ghoutas did and worse. So yes again I say, the SAA will have to kill heaps of civilians when they head north, even more than they had to in Ghouta, but when civilians actually act more like the enemy terrorists than they do civilians, I’m ok with the SAA doing what they have to do, it’s the only thing they can do to save the civilians who don’t want to fight.
I hope that you are wrong and that the morale of the US head-chopping, heart-eating, rapers and slavers collapses first.
Hopefully you’re right about their morale collapsing first.
Failed attack, territorial losses, high casualties, those poor rebel terrorists don’t seem to be getting any good news lately, unlike the lucky SAA, they only seem to get good news, victory, reclaiming towns, surrounding Turkish OB posts, bombing continually, ahhhh, who says people are only interested in horrible news stories, I myself like the good news stories like this the most.
… unlike the lucky SAA,
The SAA are not lucky. They’ve suffered terrible losses over the years and everything they’ve achieved has been fought for through resourcefulness, skill and determination. This is what you get when you become known as a war veteran. They are entitled to their wins. They have earned them, and have worked for these wins more than can be said for ANY Western armed forces. And the SAA will continue working for more wins until the entirety of Syria is liberated. Long live the SAA.
I don’t understand why you’ve taken offense to my comment, there was nothing negative at all about the SAA in it, just my assertion that lately the SAA only seem to be getting good news, which is good for their overall morale, and also pointing out the fact that all the rebels/terrorists get lately is bad news, which is bad for their morale, how can you take offense to that buddy, or is it perhaps your English isn’t so great and you misunderstood my comment. “The SAA are lucky because they’re only getting good news lately”, how’s that for simplifying it for you, is that less offensive.