DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:30 A.M.) – Shortly before midnight, ISIS unleashed four suicide bombers upon government strong points south of the Aleppo supply route while Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions pounded the northern axis of the road with missiles and artillery shells simultaneously, thereby providing direct fire support for the Islamic State.
The bulk of the offensive struck the countryside between Sheikh Hilal and Al-Saan, two key government strongholds that safeguard the neighboring road.
Although ISIS initially overran two checkpoints and came within striking distance of the Hama-Aleppo road, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defence Forces (NDF) regrouped under the cover of darkness for a swift counter-offensive against the jihadist belligerents.
According to Al-Masdar News field correspondent Ibrahim Joudeh, the SAA and NDF have already retaken one checkpoint and are working on restoring the second point as we speak. He stressed that the situation was under control and the Aleppo supply line safe.
ISIS commanders had otherwise hoped to break free of the eastern Hama siege by reaching areas under HTS control in neighboring Idlib province. Heavy clashes continue as we speak.
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