In the morning of March 3, a group of terrorists from ISIS-affiliated Ansar al-Tawhid launched an attack on several positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near the town of Masasneh in the northern Hama countryside.
A military source told SouthFront that more than 16 SAA soldiers were killed in the attack. Ansar al-Tawhid lost 6 of its militants.
The Ministry of Defense of Syria confirmed the SAA loses and said that the terrorist took advantage of the bad weather and launched their attack, which coincided with heavy shelling on the army’s positions in the region.
“The de-escalation in some area don’t mean the end of terrorists … We are always ready and prepared to repel the attacks of murderous terrorists on all axis,” a source in the SAA General Command said in a statement released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
Ansar al-Tawhid launched its attack from the demilitarized zone around Idlib, which had been established last September under a Russian-Turkish agreement. Such terrorist groups are not supposed to have any presence within the zone.
A source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Syria condemned the attack saying it comes as a new episode in a series of the terrorist groups’ violations of the demilitarized zone agreement. The ministry also warned that the SAA will not tolerate these violations for too long.
“[Syria] will not stand idly by while such crimes continue to take place, as it will not allow the terrorists and those behind them to persist in their attacks against innocent citizens and the forces of the Syrian Arab Army,” SANA quoted the source as saying.
Ansar al-Tawhid’s attack reflects the compete failure of the demilitarized zone agreement. The upcoming few hours will likely witness major military escalation around Idlib, as the SAA is expected to respond to this attack.