Battle for East Hama begins: Map Update
A few days after the launch of the east Hama offensive, the Desert Hawks have begun picking the fruit of their labor capturing a dozen points, hilltops, and villages. With the most recent capture of Jabal Maksar and Aksar Al-Janubi villages, ISIS’s main line of defense south of the Sheikh Hilel – Ithriya road has collapsed.
As mentioned before, east Hama’s rugged terrain is ripe with ambushes, mines, IEDs, trenches, and dens built across and between its countless mountains and hills. The effect of Russian and Syrian airstrikes in this corner of the Syrian war is greatly nulled by its geography and sheer manpower is required to overwhelm the defenders.
As it seems from the propulsion of the offensive, the Syrian forces are concentrating on Tal Sanimah axis. The strategic hilltop overlooks ISIS’s main supply routes from eastern Syria and Iraq to eastern Hama and Homs provinces. Should the Syrian Armed Forces reign fire control on the hill and its nearby crossroad, ISIS forces will likely evacuate their positions in east of Salamiya in a mannrt similar to east Khanasser after the Tiger Forces cut them off on the Ithriya-Raqqa Highway.