BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:45 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) capture of Khan Sheikhoun last Thursday proved to be the nail in the coffin for the militant forces in northern Hama, as just one day later, the military’s high command announced full control over the once militant-held pocket.
Despite claims by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham about defending their northern Hama pocket at all costs, the jihadist group ultimately succumbed to the pressure and fled the pocket before being completely encircled by the Syrian Arab Army.
According to a military source in the area, some militants chose to stay back and try to fend off the Syrian Arab Army attack; however, they ultimately gave us their fight by either surrendering to the military or fleeing to the Turkish observation post at Morek.
As a result of this advance by the Syrian Army, they were able to fully secure their two strongholds, Mhardeh and Al-Sqaylabiyeh, which were constantly targeted by the militants in the northern countryside of the Hama Governorate.
With this region captured, the Syrian Arab Army has two choices: attack Ma’arat Al-Nu’man to the north or the Al-Ghaab Plain to the northwest.