BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched a powerful offensive in northwestern Hama on Saturday that targeted the strategic hilltop of Tal Malah and the nearby town of Jibeen.
At the start of the offensive, the Syrian Arab Army was able to score a swift advance at Tal Malah after the Russian and Syrian air forces hammered the hilltop with relentless airstrikes.
However, the Syria Army’s success would not last for long, as a swift counter-attack by the jihadist rebels would force the government troops to withdraw west in order to avoid suffering more casualties.
According to a field source, at least five soldiers were captured during the attack and 17 soldiers were killed. Another 15 soldiers were also wounded, the source added.
This offensive at Tal Malah was aimed at reopening the imperative road that links the two Christian towns of Al-Sqaylabiyeh and Mhardeh.
As long as this road remains closed, the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and their allies from Jaysh Al-Izza and the National Liberation Front have the ability wreak havoc on these towns in northwestern Hama.