After almost two weeks of heavy firefights in the strategically imperative village of Khattab, the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces – backed by the NDF – forced Jabhat Al-Nusra militants to retreat north, abandoning their positions in the area. The Tiger Forces killed 31 Al-Nusra Front militants and captured 14 others before raising the Syrian Arab Republic flag in the village.
Among the dead was the leader of Jabhat Khattab (Al-Nusra Front affiliate), ‘Ahmad Qadaad Sahaq; his documentation contained a passport issued from Turkey
. According to a military source, besides his foreign documents, Sahaq also possessed $3,600 (U.S.), maps, and a large container of flavored condoms.
The National Defense Forces (NDF) announced the liberation of Al-Jadeeda – a village located in west Hama. The declaration of this victory comes one day after the NDF and SAA liberated three villages in the western countryside of Hama.
Elsewhere, Tiger Forces continue to besiege the Jabhat Al-Nusra controlled village of Halfaya from the south. Today, the Tiger Forces killed 14 militants and destroyed a weapons depot outside of a local prayer center. If the Tiger Forces capture Halfaya, Jabhat Al-Nusra will be forced to lift their siege on Mhardeh and retreat north.
Also in Halfaya, the Syrian Air Force conducted 12 airstrikes in this village, targeting Jabhat Al-Nusra gatherings that are positioned in the northwest corner near Mhardeh. Mohammad Alloush, a Jabhat Al-Nusra leader, was killed during the airstrikes.