Syrian troops with a ZSU-23-4 artillery piece. (Syrian Armed Forces)

According to the latest bulletin from Al-Mayadeen News, the civilian-led “National Defense Forces” (NDF), the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF), and Hezbollah, reportedly killed over 650 Islamist rebels from the conglomerate of Al-Qaeda factions in Syria – “Jaysh Al-Fateh” – during the battle for the predominately Shi’i towns of Kafraya and Al-Fou’aa inside the Idlib Governorate.

Citing “well-informed sources” inside the towns of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya, Al-Mayadeen News reported that these 650 enemy combatants were killed during a two month process that included repeated aerial bombardments from the Syrian Air Force and four failed infiltration attempts to bypass the National Defense Forces’ frontline positions at the surrounding villages and hilltops overlooking this rugged area.

Prior to the 6 month long ceasefire agreement that was just put in place, the largest faction in Jaysh Al-Fateh – Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham – launched a reprisal offensive in response to the Syrian Arab Army/Hezbollah assault on the strategic resort-city of Al-Zabadani in the Rif Dimashq Governorate’s western countryside; this aforementioned city was included in the ceasefire agreement.

If over 650 Islamist rebels were killed at Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya; it would not come as a surprise due to the fact that they utilized an estimated 3,000-4,000 fighters to besiege these isolated towns – not to mention, they utilized numerous suicide bombers to attempt to break-through the NDF’s frontlines.

Sadly, many of Jaysh Al-Fateh’s casualties were in fact child fighters that were flung to the frontlines of these towns as cannon fodder; this could be seen in one of their propaganda videos that depicted a young boy preparing for his suicide mission, while the adults around him cheered on his “martyrdom” mission against the “Rawafidh” (plural: derogatory term meaning “rejecter”).

ALSO READ  Daesh loses last bargaining chip in southern Syria, SAA prepares final offensive

 

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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