Moments ago, the National Defense Forces (NDF) withdrew from the village of Markabah in the northern Hama countryside after intense firefights with Jaysh Al-Islam (Army of Conquest) this evening.

The village of Markabah was originally under bombardment by the Islamist rebel fighters from the Free Syrian Army and Ajnad Al-Sham; however, the National Defense Forces (NDF) were able to beat back the assault and maintain full control over the area.

Despite their failures earlier in the day, the Islamist rebel factions that make-up Jaysh Al-Fateh in northern Hama launched another assault on the villages of Lahaya and Markabah in order to weaken the National Defense Forces’ frontline positions; this proved successful, as the pro-government forces were unable to maintain their ground.

Preliminary reports from the village of Lahaya seem to indicate that the National Defense Forces are preparing to withdraw from there as well; however, there has been no official confirmation from the Syrian Armed Forces.

These two villages in northern Hama are strategically located to the west of Souran and Taybat Al-Imam – two cities that were originally contested by the Islamist rebel forces before the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) northern Hama offensive last week.

According to a military source inside the provincial capital of the Hama Governorate, the National Defense Forces and Islamist rebels are exchanging mortar shells in the northern countryside, but there is no fighter jets or helicopter gunships anywhere in the vicinity of these clashes.

*Update (11:47 P.M. Damascus Time): Jaysh Al-Fateh has captured Lahaya*

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Abdou Khouli
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Abdou Khouli

this sucks.

Neill Wadsworth
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Neill Wadsworth

as much as i support the brave men and women of the saa and ndf, they have a serious problem when it comes to defending, seems the have no concept of digging a b****y trench and fighting from it.

Thomas Baker
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Thomas Baker

Do not be discouraged. It is still very early in the Russian campaign to aid Syria. Once Russian,Iranian,Jordanian, and Iraqi elements mesh together things will really get interesting. In the meantime,in the US, Obama continues to be weakened from attacks by patriotic forces. His days,not Pres. Assad’s, are numbered. Clinton,with her gushing self destructive display of cowardice during the Bengahzi hearings,is politically finished. “Stick a fork in her”, she is finished. The Republican Party is in comp.eye disarray and has no direction other than down. The path is open to win back the USA. That is good and good news… Read more »