The conglomerate of Al-Qaeda factions “Jaysh Al-Fateh” – led by Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham – have conducted another offensive inside the Al-Ghaab Plains of northwestern Hama, targeting the towns of Al-Misheek, Tal Wassit, Al-Mansoura, Khirbat Al-Naqous, and Al-Ziyarah that were captured by the Syrian Armed Forces last week.

Unfortunately, history has repeated itself for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defense Forces (NDF), as they reportedly withdrew from the towns of Al-Misheek and Al-Ziyarah after brief clashes with Jabhat Al-Nusra, Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, and Jund Al-Aqsa on Tuesday afternoon.

According to a military source in the town of Joureen, the Syrian Armed Forces engaged the Islamist groups at Qarqur and Al-Misheek, losing 8 soldiers (6 NDF and 2 SAA) before they withdrew from the latter two towns to nearby Al-Ziyarah.

Not long after withdrawing from the Qarqur and Al-Misheek fronts, the Syrian Armed Forces withdrew from the town of Al-Ziyarah without engaging the Islamist fighters of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jabhat Al-Nusra, Liwaa Suqour Al-Ghaab, and Jund Al-Aqsa.

As the exchange of mortar shells ceased on Tuesday night, the Islamist factions of Jaysh Al-Fateh would wake-up to a desolate battlefield at Al-Mansoura and Tal Wassit, as the Syrian Armed Forces once again pulled out of the these towns without any resistance.

No explanation was given for the withdrawal from these towns in the Al-Ghaab Plains; however, on Monday, it was reported that the SAA’s “Tiger Forces” had withdrawn from the Qarqur front to the town of Joureen, leaving the SAA’s 87th Brigade of the 11th Tank Brigade at the Al-Misheek axis.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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Max Rexet
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Max Rexet

To all who are suprised about that redrawal, please consider the likely reason: these back and forth has the main target to keep the islamists busy and to destroy and kill as much as possible of them. Mostly to hinder them going on a main offinsive elsewhere in the north. So far it works well. Sure the Syrian forces loosing armor and personnel als well. But the ratio is in favour of the Dyrian side: rougly 1 Syrian lost soldier compared to at least 2 of the islamists.