DAMASCUS, SYRIA (6:05 P.M.) – A new advance has been scored by the Syrian forces against jihadi groups in the eastern countryside of Hama by liberating a village and hilltop.

The forces, spearheaded by the paramilitary Qalamoun Shield and NDF units, managed today to re-take Rabea town and Tal Mahssar hilltop; which overlooks several jihadi-controlled villages in the stretching countryside.

The progress was achieved amid massive retreat by the al-Qaeda-linked Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham group, according to pro-rebel sources.

Up to 50 Russian airstrikes were reported to have rocked jihadi positions in the two recently-captured sites during the past 48 hours, propelling the ground forces into further advance.

By pushing eastward in this axis, the Syrian troops are seeking to squeeze the militants in Qubaybat and the nearby town, thus creating a pocket and eventually forcing them to withdraw.

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