On November 19, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) captured Balil Hill south of the village of Abu Dali in the northern Hama countryside and the village of Shakhtir in the northeastern Hama countryside, according to pro-government sources.
Syrian opposition sources claimed that Syrian and Russian warplanes bombed several areas in the northern and northeastern Hama countrysides, including the village of Abu Myal village and the town of Rahjan.
However, the HTS-linked news agency Iba’a claimed that HTS fighters recaptured Balil Hill and the village of Shakhtir hours only after the SAA captured them.
Moreover, Iba’a claimed that HTS fighters destroyed a BMP-1 vehicle of the SAA around Shakhtir with an ATGM. The US-backed HTS ally, Jaysh al-Nasir, also announced that its fighters destroyed a tank of the SAA in the northern Hama countryside with an ATGM.
The Free Idlib Army, another ally of HTS, announced that its fighters targeted a gathering of SAA soldiers with a TOW ATGM. However, the video shows the SAA soldiers moving away after the missile hit.
The SAA and its allies will likely expand their operations in the northern Hama countryside after eliminating the remaining ISIS fighters in Deir Ezzor governorate.