Following the success of the Handarat campaign, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has launched another offensive; this time, in the southern Aleppo village of Al-‘Amariyya. The objective will be to secure the border with the Hama Governorate, while also creating a buffer for the main supply route at the imperative village of Khanasser. With Morek in northern Hama now under the SAA’s control, the Syrian Army may attempt an offensive in southern Idlib; which, could ultimately force the Islamic Front to concentrate troops to this vital front.

Earlier today, the SAA began their operations in Al-‘Amariyya, attacking an Islamic Front hideout near Sheikh Sa’eed. The SAA was able to capture the militant hideout; this resulted in the confiscation of weapons and ammunition. According to a military source, 11 militants from the Islamic Front were killed; 3 SAA soldiers were also killed during the firefight.

Yesterday, Islamic Front fighters attempted to infiltrate into the predominately Shia cities of Al-Zahra and Nubl from ‘Anadan. Hezbollah and NDF fighters were able to repulse the attack, killing scores of militants in the process.

In the Bani Zaid District, fierce clashes are currently taking place between the Islamic Front and the SAA; these are the most intense firefights reported from this area in the last 14 months. The SAA attempted to besiege this area 5 months ago; however, the IF was able to lift the short siege. Renewed violence at the Bani Zaid District could alleviate some of the pressure on Islamic Front fighters entrenched on the outskirts of Handarat by forcing the SAA to shift their resources to this front.

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