BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:30 P.M.) – The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) launched a surprise attack on Tuesday against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) forces in the northeastern countryside of the Hama Governorate.
According to a field report from Hama, terrorists from the Islamic State stormed the Syrian Army’s positions near the strategic Khanasser Highway, which links the Hama and Aleppo governorates.
The Khanasser Highway was the first major roadway to be reopened after the Syrian Army lifted the siege imposed on the city of Aleppo by Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in 2013.
The Syrian Army was able to fend off the Islamic State’s assault after an intense battle on Tuesday; however, the clashes would prove costly for all parties involved.
A source near the front reported that the Islamic State suffered between 20-30 casualties during the clashes, including a number of dead in their ranks.
The Syrian Army also suffered some losses during the clashes, with approximately 10-15 casualties in their ranks.
The Islamic State attack in northeastern Hama on Tuesday, marked the first time in over a year that the terrorist group has attacked this region near the Aleppo-Raqqa-Hama triangle.
ISIS previously controlled a large portion of the Khanasser countryside, an issue that caused the government to close the highway several times between 2015-2018.