May 6, 2019, the Syrian Arab army launched an offensive in the Northern province of Hama. The SAA has already achieved first successes. At first glance, the fighting in the North of Hama look a little faded compared to the operation to liberate Eastern ghouta, access to Deir-ez-Zor, or the battle for Aleppo. However, operation may in the North of Hama has become a kind of litmus test, showed a qualitative increase in SAA in comparison with the initial stage of the war.
Objectively, the beginning of the war found the Syrian army is not in the best form. In the army there were significant problems with the management and interactions between departments. The army often could not effectively counter. Division was thrown into a hasty and poorly prepared attack that led to large losses in manpower and technology. The interaction between the branches of the military are frankly lame. Videos with the destruction of the Syrian tanks from ATGM became one of the symbols of this war. Largely unsuccessful operation of the SAA at this stage of the fighting, reminiscent of the actions of the Russian army at the beginning of the First Chechen war.
However, after the beginning of the Russian operation in Syria, the situation began to change. Our military advisers slowly but surely increased the level of combat readiness of the SAA. Gradually established control and interaction between the branches of the military. Syrian officers were taught new tactics based on the experience of the Russian army. As a result, beginning in the fall of 2015, each new military operation, SAA was more successful than the previous one.
In 2015, the Syrian army started an operation in the northeast province of Hama, but, losing a large number of armored vehicles, had to stop the offensive. Shelling and attacks on the position of the SAA in Idlib carried out based militants, could not go unpunished. Besides, artillery strikes and UAVs of terrorists on the Russian air base Hamim threatening the lives of our soldiers. At the end of April 2019, the Syrian army began preparations for offensive operations in the Northern province of Hama. Its purpose was to sweep from the terrorists in the valley al-Gab, where they carried out the attack on the base Hamim.
May 6, SAA began an offensive operation. The beginning of the offensive was preceded by extensive artillery and air strikes. The militants, pulling in the combat area of the top force as a banned terrorist organization Hayat Tahrir Al sham and factions of the so-called moderate opposition, promised to arrange a repetition of the events that unfolded in these places in 2015. However, now they faced an army of a completely different level. SAA was reorganized under the leadership of our military advisers and hardened by the battle for Aleppo, access to Deir-ez-Zor and the liberation of Eastern Guta was compared to 2015 year at a different quality level.
On may 6, the Syrian army went on the offensive. At its edge is probably the best division of SAA “Force Tiger”. In the first hours of the operation was occupied dominating terrain, the height tel of Otma, and behind it the village of the Boar, Swash and Ban. The militants tried to resist the attack of the SAA, but their resistance was unsuccessful. The Syrian army has used fundamentally different from 2015 tactics. Attacks of masses of armor without infantry support. Rebel positions were thoroughly explored, including with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, and then were handled by artillery and aircraft. Then went on the attack the assault team occupying the villages and conducted their sweep. And only after that the settlements came in armored vehicles, before the direct fire supporting the actions of the assault groups. The artillery, shelling the area where fighters could build up to counter-attack, exposed the border firing, preventing enemy action. Air force SAR and the Russian space forces, working for the communications of the militants did not allow them to bring up reserves to counterattack. After SAA divisions occupied the town, the Syrian military immediately began to consolidate the captured positions. Artillery has been targeting the potential routes counterattacks of militants, once again exposing fire edging. If the unsuccessful attack of the SAA can be compared with the initial stage of the First Chechen war, now the Syrian army acted in the spirit of the armed forces in the Second Chechen war.
The militants tried to counter the attack, but the fire border Syrian artillery has created a kind of veil, which broke the counterattacks of terrorists. In addition, in the period preceding the beginning of the operation, the “Power Tiger” has received a sufficient number of night vision devices, which significantly affected the course of the fighting. The counterattacks of the militants success is not achieved.
May 7 was held in the positional collisions. Fighters, in my game, began firing at a Syrian army position from ATRA, in response to the artillery SAA worked in their clusters. Despite the absence of fast forward, the events have developed is clearly not in favor of terrorists. Under the direction of military advisers from Russia artillery and aviation, the SAA and the ATT, Russia is slowly but surely destroying the defenses of the militants. “Hundreds of injured civilians from artillery strikes and aircraft” exist only in the message militants loyal to media resources, in the rear of the militants accumulate numerous wounded terrorists that obviously do not contribute to the sustainability of their defense. In addition, the constant firing pressure detrimental effect on the morale of the defenders.
On the morning of 8 may the “Tiger Forces” launched an offensive and took the city of Al-Nabudah. The militants have taken a number of counterattacks, but without success. VBIEDs used by terrorists driven by a suicide bomber, was destroyed of ATRA on the way to the goal. The militants also used this type of weapons, destroying a T-72 tanks of the SAA. However, the battle for Kafr Nabudah was the first major success of the Syrian army in the offensive operation.
On May 9 the SAA force went on the offensive. On this day they had occupied the town of Qalat al-Mudiq. As a result of negotiations with elders, the local people forced militants to leave the locality and he was taken by the SAA without a fight. Artillery and aircraft continued to work on the positions and communications of terrorists. The militants increased the intensity of attacks from ATGM, destroying a T-62 tank and KAMAZ truck of the SAA. However, such loss could have a significant impact on the operation. Moreover, the artillery of the Syrian army cut positions from which were starts. Finding the calculations ATGM fired under the pressure of significantly reduced the effectiveness of their actions.
In the first half of the day and the SAA and the militants carried out an intense artillery duel. The fighting involved Russian soldiers. So, in the area of fighting was seen men of our special forces who are using radar for counter-battery and mortars were discovered and suppressed firing positions of fighters.
In the second half of the day fighters of Nusra used a group of stormtroopers to make another counter-attack on Kafr Nabudah. However, although they managed to reach the building, the attack was repelled by fire edging SAA. Artillery and aircraft were simply not allowed the militants to tighten to the city a large force. After suffering losses in personnel, the terrorists retreated. Along with the air force and artillery, in repulsing the attack played a significant role of the unit “the Tiger Forces” that the fire of ATRA caused significant damage to the advancing militants.
An unsuccessful counter-attack made the situation much worse fighters. Significant losses in the groups had a detrimental effect on the morale of the terrorists. 11 may “Force Tiger”, in the vanguard of the offensive, swiftly captured the village of al-Sharia, coming to the operating room in the valley of al-Gab. The militants are gradually losing the territory they control, have tried to “break away” on civilians, conducting intensive shelling from MLRS populated Christian city Shalaby. The terrorists began to catch up as reinforcements from Idlib and controlled by the Turks of the Canton of Afrin.
May 13, pulling reserves, fighters Nusra and the so-called moderate opposition has gone a massive counterattack at the village Hamlet. Their goal was to strike at the flank of the grouping of the SAA. The attack was supported by large by the standards of the conflict, the armored group, consisting of at least four tanks and three BMPs.
However, the intentions of the rebels were promptly opened. Retractable technology was dealt a intense blow with artillery and aircraft. Under the village Gabe T-72 militants were killed on the streets of the village. The terrorist attack failed completely.
On may 14 there was published an impressive photo defeat an attacking group of terrorists. In total, according to conservative estimates, was destroyed 2 tanks, 2 infantry fighting vehicles and at least 3 vehicles of the militants. Dozens of terrorists killed. Artillery and aircraft swept away happy.After repelling a counter-attack militants, at least temporarily, stopped any attempts to wrest the initiative from the SAA.
At the moment, the operation to sweep the valley of al-Ghab continues. SAA divisions applied artillery and air strikes on the ruling over the terrain heights, where entrenched militants. The Russian space forces working on the rear objects and communications of terrorists in Idlib. Taking steps to mastering prevailing over the terrain elevations, including workarounds. SAA keeps the initiative, and its superiority in artillery and armored vehicles, together with the ability to strike from the air, making the issue of cleaning valley al-Gab a matter of time.
During the operation in the North-East of the province of Hama, the Syrian army has demonstrated great qualitative growth of its potential. Competent use of artillery and aircraft simply grinds the enemy’s defenses. Well-established cooperation between the military branches allows to occupy the commanding heights and settlements without incurring heavy losses. Modern means of intelligence in order to timely detect the movement of militants and hit their personnel and equipment in the nomination for the line of attack. Russian advisers and experts managed to raise the Syrian army to a qualitatively new level. We should also focus on operating in a combat zone the Russian military. The special unit, equipped with radar for counter-battery detect and destroy artillery and mortar positions of militants alone, with the help of the mortars, or cause them to artillery fire and aviation. Soldiers of Russian special forces sniper rifles and ATGM destroy the most dangerous weapon emplacements of terrorists. The contribution of our special forces operating in the valley of al-Gab in the loosening of defense, though often misses the media reporting on the reasons for the secrecy. I hope that when the right time comes, the details of the work of our advisers and specialists will become known to the General public.
Operation in the North-East of Hama was an example of progress in the level of combat readiness the Syrian army. SAA, reorganized the Russian advisers and the last hardened in the battles for Aleppo, HOMS, Palmyra, Deir ez-Zor and East ghouta have risen from the defeats of the first phase of the war to a series of victories over the enemy forces.