DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:25 P.M.) – In a bid to cutoff the main road between Fuah and Kafraya, Islamist factions of the Jaish al-Fateh (JaF) coalition launched fresh attacks on the government enclave, located less than 5 kilometers north of the provincial capital of Idlib.
As Hezbollah (Syrian branch comprised of town locals) and the National Defence Forces (NDF) exchanged artillery fire with jihadist belligerents on Sunday, a JaF fighting force led by Hayyat Tahrir Al-Sham managed to overrun a hill known as Tall Umm A’anoun, directly west of Binnish.
Rebel forces also claimed to take control over two small nearby villages; namely, Al-Azraq and Deir Al-Zughab. However, an Al-Masdar News military source said the claims were grossly exaggerated and stressed that no clashes took place at Deir Al-Zughab.
The jihadist offensive was reportedly retaliation after two insurgents were shot dead by a government sniper while traveling on the highway between Idlib and Binnish.
Also, opposition negotiators will be provided with more leverage for future UN-brokered peace talks if JaF was to tighten its stranglehold around the exposed Idlib pocket.
The predominately Shiite towns of Fuah and Kafraya have been besieged since JaF overran most of Idlib province back in 2015; at the moment, the closest government-held positions in southern Aleppo are some 27 kilometers away.