On Friday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Nation Defense Forces (NDF) captured Tim al-Hawa and Abu Lafah villages from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrain branch of al-Qaeda) in the northeastern Hama countryside, according to the Hezbollah media wing in Syria.
Russian warplanes supported the SAA advance and bombed Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) positions in Rahjan, Hamdaniya, al-Junaynah, Tharwat and al-Makar villages in the northeastern Hama countryside, according to the HTS-linked news Agency Iba’a.
Meanwhile, Syrian pro-government sources revealed that SAA General Mohammed Khadour was appointed as the commander of the SAA ongoing attack in the north eastern Hama countryside.
Khadour will reportedly lead the government advance on the town of Abu al-Duhur in the southwestern Aleppo countryside and Abu Dali village in the northern Hama countryside side. However, this does mean that the SAA is going to advance towards these areas in the nearest future.
From its side, Iba’a announced that 24 ISIS fighters surrendered to HTS in the northeastern Hama countryside during the last few days. Previously it was expected that ISIS fighters will prefer to joint HTS over surrendering to the SAA.
However, clashes between HTS and ISIS in northeastern Hama countryside are still ongoing. On Friday, Iba’a reported that HTS fighters repelled an attack of ISIS on Sarha al-Shamliyah and Sarha al-Janobiyah. According to Iba’a, HTS fighters killed 8 ISIS fighters and captured a vehicle while they were repelling the attack.
Syrian pro-government activists believe that HTS will launch a wide-scale counter-attack against the SAA once ISIS is defeated in the northeastern Hama countryside.