BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:34 P.M.) – After weeks of inactivity, Islamic State fighters have kicked off a new wave of assaults against the positions of rival jihadist forces in the northeastern countryside of Hama province, seizing two towns in quick succession during recent hours.
According to opposition sources, ISIS terrorists holed up in northeast Hama recommenced offensive operations against the Al-Qaeda-linked Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) armed group – a rival jihadist faction.
Units of the Islamic State militia attacked Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham’s positions at the villages of Rasm Al-Hamam and Hawais bin Hadib. After heavy clashes lasting several hours, ISIS fighters pushed their foes to retreat from the settlements, gaining control over them just moments ago.
The advance by ISIS comes after two weeks of inactivity in northeast Hama but nonetheless demonstrates that the pseudo-caliphate continues to seek new lands to control following major defeats in eastern Syria and western Iraq – even if it comes at the expense of other jihadist armed groups.