The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) launched a large scale offensive at the main National Defense Forces (NDF) checkpoint in the village of Al-Sheikh Hilaal on Friday; this attack resulted in significantly high casualties for both parties involved, along with ISIS’ first real push into the Hama Governorate’s eastern district of Al-Salamiyah.
ISIS began their assault at the Al-Sheikh Hilaal checkpoint on early Friday morning, as they used the element of surprise to initially overwhelm the NDF soldiers guarding the eastern post.
The NDF suffered high casualties during the inception of the ISIS assault, with almost 50 soldiers reportedly killed and another 60 wounded, as the enemy combatants were able to take control of the eastern post.
Following the surprise attack, NDF reinforcements poured into the site and engaged the large ISIS contingent of almost 600 militants that were attempting to infiltrate into the village of Al-Sheikh Hilaal.
After sustaining heavy casualties from the fierce resistance by the NDF and the merciless air raids by the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF), ISIS withdrew east from the village.
In total, ISIS suffered over 200 militants (unofficial total) killed and another 120 plus wounded; meanwhile, the NDF lost a confirmed 67 fighters, with 52 others wounded during this bloody battle.