On Saturday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 87th Brigade of the 11th Tank Division – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the 106th Brigade of the Republican Guard – have made significant progress in the Al-Ghaab Plains of the Hama Governorate, as they have taken control of four villages near the eastern border of the Latakia Governorate.
After capturing the villages of Qabr Al-Fadah, Al-Ramleh, Al-Ashrafiyah, and Al-Haweez in west Hama, the Syrian Armed Forces have now turned their attention to the imperative towns of Al-Sirmaniyah and Qastoun, both of which, are controlled by militants from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.
The town of Al-Sirmaniyah is strategically located to the east of the Prophet Younis Mountains of Latakia; this area is critical for the Syrian Armed Forces to take control of because of its proximity to the Syrian Opposition stronghold of Salma – the town was captured by Jaysh Al-Fateh in late April.
On the opposite side of the Al-Ghaab Plains, sits the rugged town of Qastoun in west Hama; this town has been under the control of Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham for quite some time.
For the Syrian Armed Forces, control of Qastoun will be vital in their struggle to seal off the Al-Ghaab Plains from the militants of Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham; however, this wont be an easy battle for the Syrian Armed Forces, as the Islamist rebels are deeply entrenched in the hills surrounding the town.