On October 7, the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) launched a major counter-attack on the joint terrorist forces of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Ahrar al-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) northeast of the Syrian city of Hama. The attack was pretexted by the infighting between the terrorist factions in the area which allowed the government forces to make major gains and retake a number of villages and checkpoints from the US-backed ‘moderates’.
Initially, the Syrian army and the NDF took control of the village of Junaynah, then, after a series of firefights, they liberated Sha’atha and Tulaysiyah. By October 8, the pro-government unts have also freed from terrorists the vilalge of al-Qahira, the al-Shu’tha hills and the nearby agriculture airstrip, Khefseen and checkpoints near al-Khaima and al-Naqra.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the loyalists have also retaken Khefseen.
Local sources indicate that the terrorists’ defenses collapsed due to the ongoing infighting among various factions. Major clashes are ongoing between Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa. Fateh Halab, Liwa al-Haq, Jaish al-Sunna and Ahrar al-Sharqiyah announced a support to Ahrar al-Sham. However, there is no confirmed information about their involvement into the conflict.
The map below depicts the situation on October 7 evening (first stage of the counter-attack):