On Sunday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 66th Brigade of the 11th Tank Division – in coordination with the Palestinian pro-government militia “Liwaa Al-Quds” (Jersualem Brigades) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Al-Salamiyah – struck back against the terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), recovering several checkpoints along the strategic Khanasser-Aleppo Highway.
The Syrian Armed Forces began their assault from the imperative town of Ithriyah, where they attempted to recover the checkpoints that were captured by ISIS during their large scale offensive in the Hama Governorate’s eastern countryside over the last 72 hours.
Without the Syrian or Russian Air Forces to apply pressure on the enemy combatants from ISIS, the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces were limited on the ground against the terrorist group; however, this did not stop them from recovering the two checkpoints outside the town of Ithriyah before the sandstorm engulfing east Hama halted all military operations.
According to a military source inside the provincial capital of the Hama Governorate, the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces have been able to recapture the primary checkpoints outside of Ithriyah and the Khanasser-Aleppo Highway, but they are still unable to reopen the aforementioned roadway due to the several IEDs (improvised explosive device) placed along this main government supply route.
The source added that the weather conditions have put the soldiers from the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces on high alert at the towns of Al-Sa’an and Ithriyah, as the SAA’s Central Command believes that ISIS and the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” will attempt to take advantage of this sandstorm.