Hama: SAA and NDF advance and recapture Ma’an, Souran, and adjacent areas
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their National Defense Force (NDF) allies have continued to make steady progress against opposition forces north of the city of Hama. In early September, this region became a major battleground as opposition units, with Jund al-Aqsa storm troops as a vanguard, captured several major towns from the government and threatened Hama city itself. However, as focus has shifted to Aleppo and as rifts within rebel ranks make themselves evident, the SAA has capitalized on their opponents’ weaknesses and has regained lost ground.
After the latest round of rebel infighting, the SAA recaptured Ma’an and began an advance to regain the town of Souran, south of Ma’an. Initially, attempts by government forces to take Souran were repulsed; however, after heavy airstrikes and artillery fire on the town, the garrison retreated due to “unworkable” positions. The morning after the retreat, SAA vanguard units filed into the town and raised Syrian flags above key positions; Souran had officially fallen. An attempt to advance towards Taybat al-Imam was made, but this was repelled by Jaish al-Nasr.
Currently, the battlefield has quieted somewhat as resources and attention have both shifted north to Aleppo. However, a counterattack on Souran is expected in the near future, as opposition forces attempt to regain lost ground.