BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 A.M.) – Shortly after losing the key hilltop of Tal Malah in northwestern Hama, the jihadist rebels from Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and their allies from Jaysh Al-Izza were gathering for a counter-offensive to retake this site from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
However, as the jihadist forces began to gather near the town of Jibeen, Russian reconnaissance planes spotted the militants and provided the coordinates to their air fleet.
According to a military source in Hama, the Syrian and Russian air forces then bombed the militant gathering, forcing them to disperse before they could launch their counter-attack against the Syrian Arab Army.
These strikes by the Russian and Syrian air forces proved crucial, as they were able to give their ground troops enough time to secure Tal Malah for the first time since they lost the hilltop in late June.
Prior to this, the Syrian Arab Army had managed to capture Tal Malah at least once before, but due to the fact they were unable to secure the hilltop, they often would retreat in order to avoid casualties.
As a result of their advance on Sunday evening, the Syrian Arab Army was able to reopen the main road between Sqaylabiyeh to Mhardeh for the first time since June.