BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:00 A.M.) – The Islamic State launched a surprise offensive in the northeastern countryside of Hama on Sunday morning, striking the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) defenses along the strategic Ithriya-Salamiyah Highway.

According to Al-Masdar’s field correspondent Majd Fahd, the Islamic State forces managed to capture several points in the Wadi Al-Azeeb area of Al-Salamiyah, resulting in the Syrian Arab Army’s subsequent withdrawal south of the Ithriya-Salamiyah Highway.

As a result of this Islamic State advance, the Syrian government was forced to close the Ithriya-Salamiyah Highway due to the fact the terrorist group has fire control over parts of the roadway.

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The obstruction of this roadway means that the Syrian government is essentially besieged in the Aleppo Governorate, as the Ithriya-Salamiyah Highway is an important link along the Syrian Arab Army’s only supply route to the province.

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