Syrian regime to unleash 'The Tiger' in Hama

Syrian regime to unleash 'The Tiger' in Hama
2 min read
04 March, 2015
A notorious Syrian army commander known is set to head a military offensive to capture opposition-held territory in northern Hama.
Parts of Hama province have been under the control of the Syrian opposition [Anadolu]

The Syrian regime is understood to be looking to control to take control of Hama's northern countryside to reach an opposition stronghold in southern Idlib.

"The regime has military forces, militias and thugs in the area of al-Hamra in Hama's eastern countryside," said Yazan Shahdawi, director of the Hama media centre.

"They came from the Abu Dali area to prepare for a military operation in the opposition-controlled areas of Hama's northern countryside and Idlib's southern countryside."

According to Shahdawi, the operation is being funded by Syrian MP Ahmed Darwish and will be led by Colonel Suhail al-Hassan, known as "The Tiger".

Hama was the site of early protests against the Syrian regime, which was suppressed by Damascus after a month-long siege of the city in 2011. Other parts of the province are controlled by the opposition, where heavy fighting has taken its toll. 

"The regime has rearranged its fighters, withdrawing some of them from the areas of al-Talisiyah and Maan to an unknown location," said Shahdawi.

Jamil al-Hassan, Syria's air intelligence chief, reportedly visited Hama a few days ago, accompanied by "The Tiger" and other regime officials.

The group inspected military camps in the area, and Hassan promised increase air and missile support.

It was reported that Hassan also attempted to solve a dispute between the province's security committee, officers in Brigade 47, and the command of Hama's air base.

     The regime's forces selected the Qamhana village in Hama's countryside as the operations room.
- Yazan Shahdawi, Hama media centre 

"The regime's forces selected the Qamhana village in Hama's countryside as the operations room for its upcoming campaign. Jamil al-Hassan and Suhail al-Hassan are still in the village now," said Shahdawi.

A few months ago, the regime appointed "The Tiger" and his team from Aleppo to lead military operations in Hama.

The city's air bases were placed at his disposal with opposition forces targeted in a series of air raids, which including the dropping of barrel bombs. 

These attacks were bolstered by heavy artillery barrages, which forced opposition forces to retreat from areas such as Morek and Khattab.

The regime's forces are believed to be attempting to eliminate the rest of the opposition's presence in Hama's northern countryside.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.