The Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jund Al-Aqsa” – backed by several rebel groups – launched a large-scale assault in the northern Hama countryside on Friday morning that targeted the strategic village of Ma’an along the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5 Highway).
Jund Al-Aqsa began their assault by storming the checkpoints at the northern flank of Ma’an, where they were confronted by the Syrian Arab Army’s 87th Brigade of the 11th Tank Division and the National Defense Forces (NDF).
Following an intense battle that lasted throughout the morning hours, Jund Al-Aqsa and their allies were forced to retreat after sustaining a large number of casualties along the Aleppo-Damascus Highway.
According to an Al-Masdar correspondent in Damascus City, the Syrian Armed Forces killed an estimated 25 enemy combatants from Jund Al-Aqsa on Friday, including their top field commander “Abu Mousa Al-Hamwi”.
In addition to the casualty count, the Syrian Armed Forces also destroyed two armored vehicles that were mounted with anti-aircraft machine guns.