Heavy clashes are ongoing between government forces and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in the northern countryside of Hama.
By April 6, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and its allied groups had repelled a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) attack on Maardas and announced that they had also captured the nearby village of Iskanderiyah. However, HTS-led forces failed to develop the momentum in the area. De-facto, Iskanderiyah and Maardas remained contensted between pro-government troops and militants. An intense fighting is ongoing in the area under constant artillery and air strikes.
HTS units counter-attacked government forces at the village of Al-Batish and the nearby hill that the SAA had seized on April 5. Militants pushed government forces to retreat from some points. The village and the hill are now also contested.
Meanwhile, the government advance on Halfaya east of Mahardeh resulted in no gains.