DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:15 A.M.) – ISIS made a major push in Hama’s northeastern countryside on Wednesday when it captured half a dozen of villages from its radical adversary Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
The seizure of Anbar, Abu Khanadiq , Rasm Abu Kursi, Abu Hayyeh and Rasm Al-Ahmar positions the terrorist group in Idlib’s southernmost provincial boundary for the first time since its expulsion from the province after the massive intra-jihadist civil war in 2013-2014.
With the latest advance, ISIS has become a considerable force in Hama and Idlib with dozens of villages and strategic high points under the extremist group’s dominion. Recent report suggest that supporters have been rallying from all over the province to fight alongside the terrorist faction.
Unless HTS and its allies manage to thwart this expansion in its early stages, the rebel forces will likely witness a scenario similar to that of the ISIS-pledged Jaish Khalid Ibn al-Walid in the Yarmouk Basin of southern Syria- a threat which rebels are still struggling to contain.