Syrian Army Prepares for Summer Offensive in Northern Hama
It has been over a year since the Syrian Arab Army’s 106th Brigade of the Republican Guard and the Tiger Forces captured the strategic city of Morek in northern Hama and while the latter has not lost any territory in this time period, they have not pressed the militants of Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) at the rebel strongholds of Kafr Zita and Al-Lataminah.
As of recently, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) has been far more active in the cities of Kafr Zita and Al-Lataminah, targeting Jabhat Al-Nusra and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sham’s movements in the area; this was followed by the aerial distribution of fliers to the remaining civilians living inside of these cities, advising them of the coming offensive from the Syrian Armed Forces.
The goal of this offensive will be to clear the salient of territory under the control of the Islamist rebels in northern Hama; the cities that make up this salient are Al-Lataminah, Kafr Zita, Tal Malah, and Latmeen.
If the aforementioned cities are captured by the Syrian Armed Forces in northern Hama, the latter will be able to advance their frontline positions to the rebel-held city of Khan Sheikhoun on the M-4 International Highway in the Idlib Governorate; this imperative city was captured by the Islamist rebels during their large-scale offensive of southern Idlib in May of 2014.
So far, the Syrian Armed Forces have only applied pressure on the the Islamist rebels from the eastern flank of the Al-Ghaab Plains, capturing four villages near Al-Sqaylabiyah.