On September 22, Ahrar al-Sham Movement and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) fighters attacked the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Khrfan hill and a al-Hizeb checkpoint in the southeastern Hama countryside, according to the HTS-linked news agency Iba’a.
Iba’a announced that the joint attack was planned by the North Homs Countryside Operation Room, and that militants captured the both positions. However, Syrian opposition and pro-government sources denied that HTS and Ahrar al-Sham achieved territorial gains during the attack.
The attack was another violation of the de-escalation agreement in the northern Homs countryside. Although all the Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups and HTS in the northern Homs countryside are under siege and extremely poorly armed, most of them oppose to any political solution and attack the SAA on a regular basis.
In a related development, the SAA and its allies repelled an attack of HTS on it positions in the al-Sutahiat area in northern Hama, according to pro-government sources. HTS fighters didn’t capture any position during the failed attack.
Meanwhile, Abu Fateh al-Furghali, a religious scholar of HTS said in his Telegram channel that HTS attack on Hama is still it its first stages. Moreover, al-Furghali promised HTS supporters that “good news” from Hama are coming.
Syrian opposition activists questioned al-Furghali’s claims because of HTS’s major loses during its offensive on September 20. Activists believe that al-Furghali statement is nothing more than a propaganda stunt to raise support for HTS in Idlib governorate.
Members of the National Defense Forces (NDF) are in al-Sutahiat: