On Tuesday morning, the Russian Air Force’s MI-24 Hind Helicopter Gunships and SU-24 fighter jets woke-up the Islamist rebels from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra”, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham with a multitude of airstrikes over their positions at the Al-Rastan and Al-Houla Plains of northern Homs, hitting several targets inside the cities of Al-Ghantu, Talbiseh, Al-Rastan, Dar Al-Kabeera, Al-‘Amariyah, and Tayr Ma’lat.
Following the Russian Air Force’s several airstrikes in the northern Homs countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s 3rd Armored and 11th Tank Divisions – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) – conducted a powerful assault at the rural towns of Al-Sanasil and Tayr Ma’lat, killing over 20 enemy combatants from Jabhat Al-Nusra and Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, while also destroying several armored vehicles that were mounted a mixture of anti-aircraft machine guns.
According to a military source, the Syrian Arab Army’s 3rd Armored Division has broken-through Jabhat Al-Nusra’s frontlines at Tayr Ma’lat and captured the southern entrance to this town after an intense firefight with the aforementioned Islamist group.
Recently, the ground fighting inside the Homs Governorate’s northern countryside has intensified in conjunction with Russian Air Force’s relentless airstrikes over the Islamist rebel positions; this peak in fighting has marked the bloodiest 48 hours at this front since the inception of the armed conflict inside the country.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defense Forces have remained poised to reopen the Homs-Hama Highway, despite the ongoing firefights between their forces and the Islamist rebels deeply entrenched inside this rural area of the Homs Governorate; this battle will only intensify in the days to come, as the Syrian Armed Forces attempt to capture Al-Rastan and Talbiseh from Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army.