The first hours of Jaysh Al-Fateh’s (Army of Conquest) northern Hama offensive has already passed and the battle has already become a blood bath between the two opposing sides, as the aforementioned Islamist group takes a brief break before launching another assault on the Syrian Armed Forces’ defensive positions.
Led by Ajnad Al-Sham, the Jaysh Al-Fateh forces launched several attacks on the Syrian Arab Army’s positions along the Hama-Idlib border, targeting the Syrian Government controlled towns of Sukayk, ‘Abdel-‘Aziz, Al-Hamra, and Qal’at Rahiya on Friday morning.
Despite rumors of their advance at Al-Hamra and their capture of Sukayk, Jaysh Al-Fateh was unable to penetrate the Syrian Arab Army’s positions at the aforementioned towns; instead, they reportedly suffered heavy casualties and the destruction of three armored vehicles mounted with 14.5mm anti-aircraft machine guns.
According to the preliminary numbers from the National Defense Forces (NDF), Jaysh Al-Fateh allegedly lost 30 plus combatants during their offensive’s first wave; these numbers are aggregated from every town the Islamist rebels attacked.
The Syrian Government forces are made up of the Syrian Arab Army’s 66th and 87 Brigades of the 10th Tank Division; along with the National Defense Forces from the cities of Al-Salamiyah, Al-Sqaylabiyah, and Mhardeh.
Jaysh Al-Fateh is led by Ajnad Al-Sham, but also has contingents from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra”, and several smaller militias from the Idlib Governorate.