Violent firefights have resurfaced in the vicinity of Jabal Al-Sha’ar (Poet Mountains) after the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) launched multiple attacks on Syrian Arab Army (SAA) positions near the Hama Governorate’s border with east Homs.
Sources from the SAA’s Special Forces unit known as the “Tiger Forces” (Qawat Al-Nimr) stated that the militants from ISIS attempted to infiltrate from the north; however, this resulted in fierce clashes that dissipated before nightfall, when latter withdrew from the area.
The Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) 11th Tank Division – in cooperation with the National Defense Forces (NDF) – confronted the Al-Qaeda linked “Al-Nusra Front” (Jabhat Al-Nusra) at the village of Qaramis, killing scores of militants and destroying 2 of their vehicles in the process. The firefights at Qaramis have yet to subside, as both forces exchange gunfire on the outskirts of this village.
Yesterday, ISIS sources reported the capture of the eastern Hama village of ‘Aqrab (not to be confused with the village in western Hama); however, sources from the NDF have denied any loss of ground. According to the source, ISIS militants were able to make initial gains, but they were forced to retreat when the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) began their bombardment on the outskirts of ‘Aqrab.
In Khanafees, the Al-Nusra Front were able to obstruct an NDF infiltration attempt, resulting in the death of 6 fighters from the latter and the destruction of a pick-up truck mounted with a 23mm machine gun; it was also transporting grad rockets to their entrenched comrades.
Also in the Hama Governorate, firefights were reported at Kafr Zita, Al-Lataminah, Qastal, Jazil, ‘Ayydoun, and Al-Salamiyyah/