On March 15, an unnamed source in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) told the Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi that US-backed Jaysh al-Nasir is preparing to launch a new attack against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies in the northern Hama countryside.
Several US and Turkish-backed FSA groups launched an attack against the SAA positions in the villages of Karnaz and al-Hamamiyat in the northern Hama countryside on March 14. However, the SAA was able to fully repel the attack only few hours later.
An FSA commanded even acknowledged that the FSA groups had lost 96 fighters and field commanders during the failed attack. Moreover, the SAA was able to capture most of the weapons that had been used by militants including a T-55 tank and Turkish-supplied Panthera F9 armored vehicles.
The FSA groups claim that these attacks are aimed at supporting militants in the East Ghouta region. However, Syrian pro-government activists believe that the FSA is launching these attacks upon orders from its sponsors. This could explain why the FSA would repeat a failed attack.
Enab Baladi reported on February 16 that Turkey had resumed its financial support to groups of the FSA and the Ahrar al-Sham Movement in northern Syria.
Back then, many Syrian experts expected that the Turkish support will be mainly used to launch new attacks against the SAA in southern Idlib or northern Hama.