The conglomerate of Islamist factions “Jaysh Al-Fateh” resumed their assault on the predominately Shi’i towns of Kafraya and Al-Fou’aa after a brief 24 hour absence from their ground attack at this front inside the Idlib Governorate.
On Friday morning, Jaysh Al-Fateh’s largest faction – Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham – launched over 40 mortar shells and rockets into Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya, killing 2 civilians and wounding 12 others before they stormed the aforementioned towns and the villages of Deir Al-Zughab and Tal Al-Khirbat from their positions in Ma’arat Al-Misreen, Al-Suwaghiyah and Idlib City.
Upon their attempted entry into Deir Al-Zughab from their positions at Al-Suwaghiyah to the east, Jaysh Al-Fateh suffered an unexpected setback when the civilian-led “National Defense Forces” (NDF) destroyed three armored vehicles that were mounted with 23mm anti-aircraft machine guns, while also killing 16 enemy combatants from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham.
Last week, Jaysh Al-Fateh inched closer to the eastern perimeter of Al-Fou’aa after they captured the village of Al-Suwaghiyah; however, with the NDF’s backs against the wall due to their isolation from all government supply routes, Jaysh Al-Fateh faces a much more difficult task, as the fear of genocide makes surrender less likely.
Jaysh Al-Fateh’s assault on Kafraya and Al-Fou’aa is considered to be a reprisal for the Syrian Arab Army/Hezbollah’s offensive at the resort-city of Al-Zabadani.
Recently, the 48 hour ceasefire agreement between Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham and the SAA/Hezbollah fell apart after the former claimed that the Syrian Government would not release some of their activists.