The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah (Party of God) have begun Phase II of their southern front offensive, attacking the towns Tal Al-Mal, Kafr Shamis, and Kafr Nissaj in unison from the western flank.

Continuing their success from the north, the SAA’s 9th Armored Division and Hezbollah stormed Tal Al-Mal; breaking through the Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syria’s Al-Qaeda branch) frontline defenses after fierce clashes engulfed this rugged area.

To the east, another 9th Division contingent – in cooperation with Hezbollah – bombarded the Free Syrian Army’s 1st Brigade and Jabhat Al-Nusra at the strategic town of Kafr Nissaj, while advancing from the recently captured Tal Sayid (located in between Himrit and Kafr Nissaj).

Jabhat Al-Nusra and the 1st Brigade attempted to counter the 9th Division’s assault on Kafr Nissaj by launching their own attack on Tal Qareen; however, the attack produced very little success, despite their persistent attempts to regain this territory.

At Kafr Shamis, fierce clashes engulfed this town once again, as the SAA’s 7th Mechanized Division and Jabhat Al-Nusra traded blows south of Tal Al-‘Antar.

According to a military source, 8 soldiers from the 7th Division were reportedly killed-in-action (KIA) and another 13 were declared wounded-in-action (WIA) at Kafr Shamiis – the source also added that 17 Jabhat Al-Nusra casualties were confirmed thus far, but no names were revealed to Al-Masdar News.

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