Judging by the nature of the events, the preparation of the insurgents’ attack was revealed in advance, which led to effective countermeasures, which led to the failure of the offensive in such a short time. A striking contrast with the March events in Northern Hama. By the evening of September 20, according to Syrian sources, the militants were driven out of those areas that they managed to occupy at the cost of large losses, and now the issue of the counteroffensive of the SAA towards Murak is on the agenda in order to take advantage of the consequences of the unsuccessful offensive by militants.
Two big stories from the war correspondents “Anna-News” dedicated to the boiler in East Hama.
Representatives of the defense Ministry and representatives of the “moderate militants” concluded an agreement in Cairo on the cessation of hostilities the Rastan boiler to the North of HOMS.
The concentration of reserves for an attack on the position of the Caliphate in Eastern Hama and Eastern Homs is the logical consequence of not too successful attempts to directly break the defense of militants in the direction of Akerbat. Unlike high-profile successes in the South of Syria, here the pace of progress is low, the enemy has organized and effective resistance, good use of terrain and tactics of mobile groups to organize a chilling action. The forces that were concentrated in the Eastern Hama in may 2017, was obviously insufficient for the solution of operational tasks that demanded as the transfer of additional forces withdrawn from the Western areas of Raqqa province, and the Russian air support, which should facilitate the solution of command problems.
Taking into account the fact that another “ceasefire” has begun and some forces will be thrown from the calmed fronts to finish the Caliphate, we can expect intensification of efforts in East Homs, Eastern Hama and towards Deir-ez-Zor. It is also noted that the frigate Admiral Essen, who came recently to Sevastopol to the place of permanent basing, has already left for a campaign against the shores of Syria. In the near future, significant changes can be expected on the Syrian fronts.
In General, liberating Jirah is a significant operational success, which creates favorable prerequisites for the development of offensive operations to the East of Aleppo, where using the fact that the Caliphate will be to forced pull the troops for the protection of Raqqa, it is possible to significantly expand the controlled territory.
It is obvious that preparations are underway for hostilities against the Caliphate (the regrouping of troops and creation of strike groups requires a certain time), which we will see in the second half of may-early June. As the primary tasks is to sweep the area of the base of the Giro and promotion along the banks of the Euphrates to the administrative borders of Raqqa province + creation of prerequisites for the development of the offensive from the area Itree. Simultaneously, we can expect offensive operations to the North and South of the highway Ties – Palmyra, as well as the mounting of the strike group in the area of the Palmyra, for the ambitious offensive operations in the direction of Deir ez-Zor.
In Northern Hama the front has stabilized. The militants went after the failures of mid-April, fell back to the area of Lataminah and Morek, which is reflected in the rate of advance of the SAA, which is now bogged down in battles for the towns South of Lataminah and South-East of Morek. If in these fights, SAA will be able to grind the main forces of the militants, before the Syrians will open good prospects associated with access to the Central regions of Idlib.
“Al-Nusra” and “Ahrar al-sham” have actually burned their operating reserves in the April fighting and can only rely on fresh recruits from camps in Idlib, as well as a separate jihadist group from other groups. The main problem of fighters is that after the SAA broke through the main defensive line Halfaya-Tablet-al-Imam-Souran, the second line of defense near Lataminah and Morek, in fact is the key to the southern part of Idlib. In the continuation of the offensive of the SAA at the current pace, the consequences of the collapse of the defense of fighters in North Hama can capture and the neighboring parts of the front, particularly in the area Kerdasa and Maan that the favorable SAA for the development of the situation can lead to total collapse of the southern front rebels.
The position of the militants in the Northern Hama continues to deteriorate. After the defeat in the battle of Tabiat al-Imam, there is more of a direct threat from the advance of the SAA to Morek and Latamanah to the position of militants in the area of Halfaya. Because of this, the command of the fighters was forced to pull out troops North, leaving Halfaya (for which a long time of heavy fighting) and the positions to the East of it.
In the Northern Hama heavy fighting continues. SAA has taken Taybat al-Imam and repulsed the counterattacks of “Al-Nusra”, is developing an offensive in the direction of al latamina. The enemy in recent days suffered heavy losses here – according to various estimates from 40 to 60 killed, 6 armored vehicles and more than 10 carts. The district of al latamina subjected to severe bombing by the VKS of the Russian Federation and the Syrian air force, roads leading to city, covered by artillery.
Fierce fighting continues in the area Halfaya. Syrian sources say the build-up of intense artillery fire from the SAA in the direction of Lataminah may indicate the seriousness the intention to eliminate the Lataminah bulge. Entrenched in Taybat al-Imam, SAA gets the opportunity to move in the direction of Lataminah actually going to the flank and rear of the group of militants holding the front in the area Halfaya. It is not excluded that with this growing threat, the militants are likely to lose Halfaya within a week and be forced to move to back to Lataminah, and the SAA in turn, moving from Taybat al-Imam and Souran, can create a threat to Morek, moving along the road toward Khan Shaykhun.
In Syria in the militant attack on the military garrison of government troops killed a Russian military adviser to Sergei Burgundy. This was announced by the defense Ministry.
As told in Department, he was part of a group of Russian military advisers and carried out tasks for the preparation of one of the units of the Syrian forces.
“During the attack the militants, a Russian officer organized actions of Syrian troops, not allowing a breakthrough of terrorists in the residential town of”, — noted in the defense Ministry.
Both parties continue to send into battle additional reserves, but still the advantage is with the SAA and its allies in firepower effect, plus it is worth remembering that the SAA is somewhat easier to replenish losses in tanks and infantry fighting vehicles than the rebels, who are losing armor, and losing the ability to conduct an effective counterattack on a tactical level. Regrouping after the capture of Maharde and reinforcements, enabled SAA to continue the offensive, denying the militants a chance to recover due to the long operational pause.
At the moment, the fighting in North Hama is the largest battle of the campaign in 2017 surpassing in its scope the operation of the SAA in the area of Palmyra, the storming of the al-Bab, or the battles in Jobar and Deraa.
The story with chemical attack develops quite traditional and expected. After stuffing, the militants and the West rushed to accuse “bloody Assad regime” and called the UN security Council, launched a campaign in the press, and trump even said that he changed his attitude to Assad, simultaneously kicking Obama for a prior policy and recommending Russia to change its attitude toward Assad. Russia of course denies everything, in the UN security Council prospects for any anti-Syrian resolution in the objective investigation as nobody is interested, so that the subject “chemical weapons” will be traditionally another element of the information war.
In General, the situation for the SAA continues to improve and we can talk about the operational crisis being almost completely resolved. Moreover, having the operational initiative and its advantage in manpower and technology, SAA can try to solve more serious tasks than just take away from the militants that they were able to capture in March. The fighters, drawn into the epic battle in Northern Hama, failed to achieve decisive results, losing to the beginning of April, most of the achieved benefits. The loss of Souran and the continuation of the offensive of the SAA on the agenda may be a question of preservation of the ledge, which has already more than two years plagued with SAA.
Photos of SAA counter-offensive in Northern Hama. March 31 – April 2, 2017.
Importantly, the overall dynamics of such operations in the majority of such crises in the end in favor of Assad. Even suffering setbacks at the tactical and operational level, strategically, Assad continues to strengthen its position, expanding the controlled area. The successful conclusion of operations in Northern Hama will also serve to strengthen this trend, which originated in the fall of 2015.
In General, the situation for the SAA here in recent days has improved slightly, although on the complete overcoming of the crisis so far, the militants have lost the pace, but the ambitious plans they still have left, so ahead of the SAA are waiting for fierce fighting with a sufficiently skilled adversary. In the battle from both sides involved more than 20 thousand people, dozens of tanks and artillery (even the Syrians TOS-1). In these battles the parties to bear significant losses, a few dozen people a day. Together, and the fighters and the SAA from the beginning of the offensive had lost several hundred men killed and wounded.