BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 A.M.) – Al-Qaeda linked Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and their allies from the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) and Jaysh Al-Nasr have seized several sites in the northern Hama countryside over the last 24 hours, putting them within striking distance of the provincial capital.
According to a military source in Hama City, the jihadist rebels were able to make this advance on Wednesday after they broke-through the 11th Tank Division’s main line of defense that was created around Khattab.
As a result of these gains, the jihadist rebels are now within 5km of Hama City, marking the second time in two years that they have reached this part of the province.
In addition to threatening the provincial capital, the jihadist rebels are also at the outskirts of Syria’s largest Christian city: Mhardeh.
Mhardeh is home to tens of thousands of Syrian Christians and several thousand displaced civilians from the northern Hama countryside.