BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:40 A.M.) – Rebel forces based in the countryside of northern Hama have breached the Russian-Turkey-Iran brokered de-escalation agreement set for the area by shelling with conventional artillery and Grad rockets the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) Zaleen checkpoint and the SAA-held town of Salhab to the southwest.
The SAA has so far retaliated by start shelling the rebel-held towns of al-Latamaneh and Kafr Zita in northern Hama with artillery and rockets. As of two hours ago, it was reported that shelling by the SAA was still ongoing.
Earlier on this week, rebels shelled the Mahardeh thermal power plant with rockets, damaging the facility bad enough to put it out of service. The outcome of this action has been a power shortage that can be felt throughout all of western Syria.
After rebels have shelled the thermal power plant at Mahardeh, the SAA issued a warning to rebel factions that the Syrian Army would retaliate in kind to any breach of the de-escalation agreement. Indeed, this latest artillery duel indicates that the SAA intends to do just that.