The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has launched another offensive at the Al-Salamiyah District in east Hama after two previous attacks that produced very little gains, resulting in their subsequent withdrawal to the Ar-Raqqa Governorate.
Once again, ISIS began their offensive by attacking the villages of Sheikh Hilaal, ‘Aqarab, and Al-Masheerfat in the eastern part of Al-Salamiya District, where they broke-through the National Defense Forces (NDF) frontline defenses and entered these Syrian Government strongholds.
Following their initial attack, ISIS led another assault on the villages of Abu ‘Alayya, Saraheen, ‘Umm Jama’a, ‘Umm Harateen, Hamadi ‘Umar, Ba’er Qasab, Ba’er Al-‘Awayad, and Al-Hindawi, while they attempted to evade the persistent bombardments from the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF).
ISIS’ attack was eventually repelled before nightfall at the villages of Saraheen, ‘Umm Jama’a, ‘Umm Harateen, and Al-Hindawi; however, their assault resulted in the death of 34 soldiers from the NDF and 6 civilians in this predominately Ismaeli Muslim.
In the remaining villages ISIS attacked, fierce firefights continue to engulf the area, while NDF reinforcements arrive to back-up their embattled comrades confronting the militants.
According to a military source at the Hama Military Airport, ISIS has suffered a significant number casualties that are estimated between 60-100 fighters – similar to the number of casualties they sustained in the previous offensives.