After taking the heights of Tal As and Kafr Ayn, the Syrian troops began to expand the control zone north of the newly occupied positions. The step is reasonable enough not to get hit on the flank at the beginning of an accented attack on Khan Shaykhun. Also, this direction of movement is linked with plans to cover Khan Shaykhun from the north. Directly to Khan Sheikhun from the front-line positions of the SAA is still 3 kilometers. Yesterday’s battle at the Al-Salmaan checkpoint had no significant consequences and the position remains with the militants. Artillery and air strikes continue in the area of the city. In the direction of Habit and Kafr Ayn, a transfer of equipment was noted.
Promotion of SAA in North Hama continues.
On the evening of August 13, the village of Kafr Ayn was liberated. The surviving militants retreated to positions on the outskirts of Khan Shaykhun.
In addition, the same evening, fighting began for the height of Tal Aas, which covers Khan Shaykhun from the west. Despite reports that she was allegedly taken, at one in the morning the battles for her were still ongoing. Taking a height will ensure occupation of the adjacent territory and fire control over the approaches directly to Khan Shaykhun.
In the eastern part of the Al-Lataminah ledge, the SAA will also continue to attempt to advance towards Khan Shaykhun, after the capture of the Sukhayk.
The height of Tal Teri and the village of Tamanah have not yet been taken, although for 2 days they have been subjected to serious airstrikes.
On the whole, an operational plan is emerging that is associated with strikes in convergent directions towards Khan Shaykhun, which may lead to the formation of an Al-Lataminah cauldron or force militants to withdraw the remaining forces from Northern Hama to Idlib.
So there is a chance, we will see another major operation to encircle during the Syrian war.
Advance of the SAA in the last day. Kafr Ayn, Um Zaytunah (100% not yet confirmed) are occupied, Muallis (according to some sources already occupied, according to others – it is empty after a night battle and bombardment – the battles have moved north), Khirbat Murshid and Tal As.
The organized defense of the militants west of Khan Shaykhun virtually ceased to exist – the front was hacked to the full depth. The defeated militant detachments either rolled back to Khan Shaykhun or were forced to retreat north.
The events have clearly gained full steam and the talk is essentially about the assault on Khan Shaykhun himself, the capture of which will mean the end of the Al-Lataminah ledge and the completion of the liberation of the province of Hama from the militants.
It is reported that in the area of the Salaam checkpoint at the western entrance to Khan Shaykhun, there is a battle. The center of Khan Shaykhun is 2-3 kilometers from here.
According to a number of reports, the checkpoint is already occupied, as are the adjacent houses on the outskirts of the city, but this information is still without photos or video confirmations, so this may be premature relaying somewhat ahead of the curve.
There are still unconfirmed reports that militant groups are leaving Kafr Zita and Khan Shaykhun, retreating north to avoid the cauldron.
The intensity of artillery and air strikes is still very high.
Attempts to counter-attack by the militants on Zukayk were unsuccessful.
In general, by August 14, the SAA from the west had already reached directly to Khan Sheikhun, and from the east they still had to take Tamanah, the height of Tal-Teri and the town of Khazanat to provide access to Khan Shaykhun from the east.
The Khan-Shaykhun-Morek highway is likely to be under the direct fire control of the SAA in the next 1-2 days.
UPD: According to information from the military commissar Anna-News – the forefront of the “Tiger Forces” 3 kilometers from Khan Shaykhun.
Photos from the position of the Tiger Forces, 3 kilometers from Khan Shaykhun.
Briefly on developments in North Hama.
1. After taking the heights of Tal As and Kafr Ayn, the Syrian troops began to expand the control zone north of the newly occupied positions. The step is reasonable enough not to get hit on the flank at the beginning of an accented attack on Khan Shaykhun. Also, this direction of movement is linked with plans to cover Khan Shaykhun from the north. Directly to Khan Sheikhun from the front-line positions of the SAA is still 3 kilometers. Yesterday’s battle at the Al-Salmaan checkpoint had no significant consequences and the position remains with the militants. Artillery and air strikes continue in the area of the city. In the direction of Habit and Kafr Ayn, a transfer of equipment was noted.
2. In the eastern part of Al-Lataminah ledge, heavy fighting continued in the area of Sukaik and the height of Al-Teri. Yesterday, during the fighting, the Syrians lost the Su-22 shot down by fire from the ground. The enemy uses suicide bombers, artillery and MLRS. The enemy’s activity is due to the fact that in the eastern part of the Al-Lataminah ledge, the work of aviation was not as intense as in the west, therefore, the militant units are not so battered here and retain some of the heavy weapons that they are trying to use in local counterattacks to slow down the pace of SAA advancement towards Taman, Al-Teri and Khazanat.
3. Turks are still sitting in Moreka, although rumors that they are packing things and are preparing to leave for Marat al-Numan have been walking in Arab social networks for several days. As before, Morek ignores the Morek, as a result of which it is possible to draw an analogy with the “eye of the storm”, when a fiery hurricane rages around, and in Moreka it is relatively calm. But for now. The Turks are now protesting mainly in words, as they are preparing for an operation in Rojava, where, within the framework of agreements with the United States, they will occupy a 5-kilometer zone on the Syrian-Turkish border. Last year, Russia offered Erdogan this option, recalling the Syrian-Turkish agreements that allowed the Turks to conduct operations against the Kurds in Syrian territory to a depth of 5 kilometers. Therefore, in addition to the deal between Turkey and the USA, the agreements of Turkey and the Russian Federation cannot be ruled out, when Turkey does not interfere much with cleaning up the Northern Hama, and the Russian Federation will not impede Turkey’s plans in Rojava. An analogue of such transactions has already been (in particular, during the Turkish intervention in Afrin during the operation in Eastern Ghouta). Of course, all such deals come at the expense of the Kurds, but in conditions when they are firmly under the Americans, it makes little sense to take too much care of their problems.