Exclusive: Al-Sanadid Forces have not yet decided to deploy to fight Turkey

Syrian War Daily can confirm that Al-Sanadid Forces (Quwwāt as-Ṣanādid), an Arab militia of the Shammar tribe allied with the Syrian Democratic Forces, has not yet decided to deploy any forces to assist their Kurdish partners in fighting the Turkish invasion of Rojava. Although Al-Sanadid is at a heightened state of alert, the group has troops standing by at its traditional strongholds al-Yaarubiyah and Tell Hamis.

The Turkish ground forces have not yet crossed the border en masse, although special forces have tried and failed to infiltrate SDF positions along the border (at Bir Ashiq for example). Meanwhile, Turkish Air Force planes have bombed Tal Abyad, Suluk, Qantari, Bir Ashiq, and Hammam Turkman. Pro-SDF forces are also clashing with Turkish-backed militias west of al-Bab in one of the last SDF positions in northwest Aleppo.

Maps: Syrian government captures large rebel pocket, clearing all of northern Hama

The Syrian Army has now taken all of northern Hama Governorate from rebel forces, creating a new frontline inside the southern part of Idlib Governorate 25 km shorter than before (and freeing up many front line guard troops for future operations). The government took from rebel forces the strategic city of Khan Shaykhun, as well as the devastated towns of Latamina, Kafr Zita, and Morek. The Turkish Army observation post in northern Hama has still not been evacuated, and is now surrounded by Syrian Army troops and tanks at close range (as short as 100 meters). The moderate rebel group Jaish al-Izza has lost its territory due to this battle. This leaves jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in control of the front line with government forces, with a few exceptions in the southeast of Idlib (such as the Free Syrian Army Mountain Hawks Brigade and the National Liberation Front).

Map update: Battle of Northern Hama – 22nd of August 2019

Map of northern Hama governorate. The Syrian Army pushed south of Khan Shaykhun by capturing the town of Sayad and the Khazanat base from rebel forces. These actions tighten the siege on rebels in northern Hama, making it harder for them to make a break-out escape.
The government has opened a humanitarian corridor for civilians trapped in the pocket to escape to government-held territory at Suran to the southeast of the area.
If and when the rebel pocket in northern Hama collapses or is evacuated, the Syrian government will shorten its frontline with rebel forces, allowing them to concentrate more troops along a smaller area and stop the repeated rebel attacks on pro-government towns.

Dernières nouvelles: L’armée syrienne sont entrées à Khan Cheikhoun et prend une partie de la ville (avec des cartes détaillées)

Carte de la contrôle territoriale dans la ville de Khan Shaykhun du gouvernorat d’Idleb, lundi matin, 19 août.
Carte de la situation militaire actuelle au nord du gouvernorat Hama et au sud d’Idleb, lundi matin, 19 août.
Carte de la contrôle territoriale dans la région d’Idleb, lundi matin, 19 août.

L’armée syrienne a pris deux postes de contrôle autour la ville de Khan Cheikhoun le soir 2019-08-18. Ensuite, peu après minuit, les troupes armées avaient lancé un assaut au nord de Khan Cheikhoun et ont pris une partie de la ville.

Le nombre du combattants morts des dernières 24 heures approchant quatre vingt-dix. L’ensemble de la région tenue par les rebelles au nord de Khan Cheikhoun est sous l’assaut écrasant du gouvernement, soutenu par des frappes aériennes sans arrêt de chasseurs à réaction et d’hélicoptères. Presque une mille civils syriennes sont morts au cours des quatre derniers mois, presque tous était dans les zones contrôlées par les rebelles.

Breaking: Syrian Army enters and captures part of Khan Shaykhun city (detailed maps)

Map of current territorial control in Khan Shaykhun city as of Monday morning.
Map of territorial control in northern Hama/southern Idlib provinces as of Monday morning
Detailed map of territorial control in the overall area of ‘greater Idlib’ as of early Monday

The Syrian Army captured two checkpoints from jihadist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in the evening of 2019-08-18. Just after midnight, Army troops launched an attack from the northern direction (an area poorly fortified by rebels) and entered Khan Shaykhun city. Several city blocks and neighborhoods were cleared, as rebel forces engaged in a fighting retreat. The city is now almost devoid of civilians after over ten thousand people fled over the past month northward to refugee camps and rebel-held cities like Idlib. Tahrir al-Sham was also unable to reverse yesterday’s loss of tactically important high ground northwest of Khan Shaykhun despite multiple car bombings, showing the group is now finding it difficult to effectively counter the Syrian Army in prolonged battles.

So far, dozens of fighters have died on both sides, with the death toll of the past 24 hours approaching 100. The entire rebel-held area north of Khan Shaykhun is under overwhelming government assault backed by nonstop Syrian and Russian airstrikes from jet fighters and helicopters. Almost 1,000 civilians have died in the past 4 months, almost all of them in rebel-held areas.