Last night, Islamist units of Jund al-Aqsa and Ahrar al-Sham launched an assault on a government checkpoint at Tall Huwayr, a hill top that overlooks the towns of Morek and Ma’an in northern Hama.
The offensive was repelled thanks in large to artillery and missiles fired by elements of the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) 11th division and the National Defence Forces (NDF).
The attackers then returned to Morek, a town they captured in November 2015.
Soon after Islamist commander called off the offensive, their positions were struck by Russian warplanes – airstrikes were reported at Morek, Ashtan, and the Sukaik hill; the aforementioned areas are held by al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise groups.
These airstrikes are likely intended to deter new jihadist attacks in the Hama governorate.
A field source embedded with the SAA’s 11th Division said Jund al-Aqsa and Ahrar al-Sham had “suffered heavy casualties” but did not specify how many.
Meanwhile, a simultaneous rebel offensive gained ground in the Latakia countryside as insurgents captured four villages and a hill from government troops.