On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) captured Jib Abiyad village in northeastern Hama countryside from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), according to the Hezbollah media wing in Syria.
Moreover, Syrian pro-government sources reported that the SAA also captured Rasm Suan, al-Rahraha and Rasm al-Ahmr villages from ISIS in the northeastern Hama countryside also.
From its side, the HTS-linked news agency Iba’a claimed that HTS fighters repelled an attack of the SAA on their positions in Khafiyeh village in the northeastern Hama countryside. Iba’a also claimed that HTS fighters destroyed two tanks of the SAA with ATGMs around Jib Abiyad.
Meanwhile, opposition sources revealed that former Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters are participating in the SAA attack against HTS in the northwestern Hama countryside.
According to reports, at least two former commanders of the FSA First Brigade group were spotted fighting alongside the SAA and the NDF.
The first commander is called “Abu Bahr” and was one of the First Brigade’s field commanders in Qaboun district east of Damascus city.
The second commander is Abu Muhssien. Opposition source claimed that he was behind the success of the SAA attack on Qaboun back on May.
On May 29, dozens of FSA fighters in Qaboun decided to join the SAA instead of withdrawing towards Idlib governorate. Opposition sources believe that at least 40 ex-FSA fighters are now fighting alongside the SAA in the northeastern Hama countryside.