Pro-Assad forces expel Islamist rebels from strategic areas in Hama

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Syrian pro-regime forces patrol an area in the Sahl al-Ghab. File photo

ARA News

Hama, Syria – Forces loyal to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regained Tuesday villages and towns in Sahl al-Ghab region in Hama province, after clashes with rebel fighters.

Pro-Assad army forces retook areas in Sahl al-Ghab following weeks of control by the Islamist rebels. 

“Fighters of Jaish al-Fatih (main body for Syrian armed opposition) were forced to withdraw from the villages of al-Qahira, Qiretey and Mishayyak in Sahl al-Ghab after fierce clashes with pro-Assad army and Shiite militants of Hezbollah,” Abu Huzaifa al-Shami, member of al-Fatih media office, told ARA News in Hama.

“The rebels have also withdrawn from the town of Khirbet al-Naqous under heavy shelling by regime forces,” al-Shami added.

At least six fighters from Jaish al-Fatih (al-Fatih Army) were killed and more than ten others injured during the clashes in Sahl al-Ghab.  

This coincided with airstrikes by Syrian fighter jets on the rebels’ fighting positions in Sahl al-Ghab, which facilitated the advance of the pro-Assad army forces and allied militias on the ground. 

Speaking to ARA News, media activist Ahmed al-Ashtar said that Jaish al-Fatih fighters have been planning to launch new operations against pro-Assad forces in Sahl al-Ghab “to advance towards the coastal province of Latakia”.

“They haven’t fortify their headquarters in the recently seized areas of Sahl al-Ghab. They were only focused on how to continue progressing towards the coastal region, that’s why they lost their strategic bases, including the bridge of Hakoura which constitutes an important supply line for Assad army,” he said. 

Reporting by: Alaa Yousef

Source: ARA News 

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