DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:25 A.M.) – Dozens of jihadist militants were neutralized on Friday evening as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) conducted a tactical withdrawal from a number of points, only to retake them hours later.
After the arrival of new Tiger Forces reinforcements earlier in the day, the SAA quickly recaptured Maardes Silos, Al-Tarabia checkpoint, the Maardes army base and cemented its control over the nearby village of Iskandariyah after attacking the area from two flanks.
Now, the Tiger Forces are once again gearing up for a looming assault on Maardes and will look to capture Souran in the following days. If succesful, they will have reversed all jihadist gains since rebel forces began a large-scale offensive on March 21.
Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, the primary faction fighting in rural Hama, is outnumbered by the pro-government forces but is nevertheless putting up a defiant effort to stop the SAA from pushing into the Idlib governorate, considered Islamist heartland.