DAMASCUS, SYRIA (0:40 A.M.) – Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) retained full control over Taibat Al-Imam on Monday as a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) assault earlier in the day proved to be mostly probing attacks which revealed a high number of jihadist militants to be entrenched inside the town ahead of the anticipated government offensive.

Subsequently, commander-in-chief Suheil Al-Hassan requested the Russian Air Force to intensify its sorties on the Islamist stronghold as little to no civilians are believed to be inside Taibat Al-Imam with most fleeing the volatile battlefield in advance.

Nevertheless, the Tiger Forces – assisted by the 47th and 87th brigade of the SAA’s 11th Division – managed to keep control of the Al-Qitban checkpoint that will now be used as a launching pad for renewed assaults on Taibat Al-Imam.

The Tiger Forces often deploy diversionary attacks before unleashing the bulk of its assault troops on jihadist belligerents, causing great distress for enemy combattants of Suheil Al-Hassan. The Major General is now drawing up plans for the decisive assault on Taibat Al-Imam while Russian sorties do the dirty work in the meantime.

While the SAA neutralized dozens of HTS militants in the battle for Souran yesterday, the Tiger Forces also captured a handful of HTS militants from Turkistan. One was offered a cigarette by a Tiger Forces soldier to calm his nerves:

Chris Tomson | AMN

Click here for brand new battle footage from Hama or here for the latest map.

HTS is considered a tacit Al-Qaeda group and is considered a terrorist organization by most countries worldwide, including the United States and Russia.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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