BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:45 P.M.) – Forces of the Al-Qaeda affiliate group Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (better known by its former name as Jabhat al-Nusra) have recaptured over fifty towns and villages across northwest Syria from rival Islamist militia Jabhat Tahrir Souriya following a swift counter-offensive launched about two days ago.
The sudden revival of Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham’s strength comes less than a week after the militant faction appeared to be on the ropes, having lost over half of its territorial holdings throughout Idlib and Aleppo provinces.
Despite the success of Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham’s counter-blow, the jihadist faction is still yet to retake the strategic town of Dart Izza’ – two storming attempts to achieve this have failed so far.
Overall, the battles between Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham and Jabhat Tahrir Souriya across the countryside of Aleppo and Idlib province have been highly-mobile.
According to Al-Masdar News journalist Ibrahim Joudeh both sides are engaged in a cat and mouse game of striking each others’ weak points yet do not commit to pursuit assaults due to a lack of manpower which denies them the ability to properly defend their holdings and properly attack new areas at the same.