On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies recaptured al-Hazm area north, and northwest of al-Qaryatayn town in the southern Homs countryside, according to the Hezbollah media wing in Syria.
The SAA also capture several positions that overlook the town east of it.
The media outlet also released an official statement saying that the fighters who took over al-Qaryatayn town week ago are not only from ISIS. According to the statement the sleeper cells who took over the town included fighters from Liwa Shuhada al-Qaryatayn and Liwa Shuhada Mahin.
Both Liwa Shuhada al-Qaryatayn and Liwa Shuhada Mahin are considered “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups. Moreover, the US-led coalition had claimed before that it suspended its support for Liwa Shuhada al-Qaryatayn. However, the group is still active under the US-led coalition protection in al-Tanaf area near the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The Hezbollah media wing statement stressed that al-Qaryatayn town was captured mainly by US-backed Liwa Shuhada al-Qaryatayn and Liwa Shuhada Mahin, and not ISIS. According to the media outlet, ISIS took advantage of this situation and claimed responsibility for the attack.
However, there is no doubt that ISIS was also a part of the attack along with Liwa Shuhada al-Qaryatayn and Liwa Shuhada Mahin, as it was the first to know about the attack and to report it. The Hezbollah media wing also confirmed that the SAA is preparing to launch a counter attack to eliminate the sleeper cells inside the town and to recapture it.
Meanwhile, a source in the SAA told South Front that the armed opposition group Jaysh al-Islam shelled the positions of ISIS fighters in Mhassa mount south of al-Qaryatayn town from its positions in the Eastern Qalamoun region on Thursday. However, the source denied that there is any coordination between the SAA and Jaysh al-Islam regarding the situation in al-Qaryatayn.