On July 30, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces renewed their attempts to capture the town of Kbanah from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and other radical militant groups.
Pro-government sources argue that this advance was launched in the framework of the wider effort to pressure militants along the contact line creating a wider buffer zone that should prevent them from shelling civilian areas.
During the past few months, government forces launched several attempts to capture Kbanah, but all of them was repelled by militants.
On July 28 and July 29, the SAA and its allies liberated the villages of Jibeen and Tell Meleh from radical militants. According to pro-government sources, miltiant groups lost several pieces of military equipment and around a dozen of their members in these clashes.
According to the Russian military, positions of miltiants in the southern part of the de-escalation zone were recently reinforced by 500 members of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
MORE ON THE TOPIC: