Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabbhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) have launched an offensive against government forces from the Rastan pocket located north of the government-held city of Homs.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allies advanced on army postions in the direction of Salamiyah amid an intense artillery shelling. However, according to local sources militants didn’t achieve any notable gains in the area. In turn, they’ve faced a strong resistance from the local self-defense forces and were pushed to retreat.
The advance on Salamiyah was a clear attempt to assist ISIS terrorists encircled in the Uqayribat Pocket located east of the government-held city. HTS and its allies are not interested in a total defeat of ISIS in the provinces of Homs and Deir Ezzor because this will open additional opportunities for government forces that seek to restore the order across Syria.
Meanwhile, HTS artillery units shelled the government-held Assad Military Academy area in western Aleppo: