Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and its allied militant groups have resized the town of Maardes from government forces in the northern countryside of Hama.
The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s media wing itself also reported that Maardes had been captured by militants.
Militants launched an attack in the area earlier today, using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) to break government forces defenses in Maardes. According to various sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham-led forces used some 4 VBIEDs during the clashes.
The militants’ success became possible because the Syrian army and other pro-government units had lost momentum while they were preparing an advance on the nearby militant-held town of Souran.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s leadership used it to launch a counter-attack and to seize Maardes.
Jaish al-Izza hit a government Grad missile system with a TOW missile:
Militants are shelling government positions in northern Hama:
Advancing Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants: