The Islamist rebels from the “Kafr Naboudeh Operations Room” (comprised of 10 rebel factions from Idlib and Hama) have begun their large-scale offensive to capture the Christian city of Al-Sqaylabiyah, striking the National Defense Forces’ (NDF) frontline positions around several sites in northern Hama on Monday.
According to social media activists from the Syrian Opposition and several battlefield reports, the Islamist rebels imposed full control over the village of Al-Mughayr in the Al-Sqaylabiyah countryside after intense firefights with the National Defense Forces; this village was captured by the pro-government forces during their offensive in early October.
In addition to the capture of Al-Mughayr, the Islamist rebels from Jund Al-Aqsa (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) reported the capture of the Al-‘Abboud Checkpoint, which is located just south of the strategic town of Morek that was captured by the Al-Qaeda faction last week.
The Islamist rebels have recently turned their attention to the northern Hama front after their successful military operations in the Al-Ghaab Plains that border the Latakia Governorate’s Prophet Jonah Mountains (Jabal Nabi Younis).
If the Islamist rebels are able to capture Al-Sqaylabiyah, they will have captured the northwestern tip of the Masyaf Triangle; this area is a gateway into the Tartous Governorate from western Hama.