DAMASCUS, SYRIA (8:30 P.M.) – After a brief hiatus, the northern Hama frontier reopened today with Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) exchanging fire and artillery shells towards each other’s positions.

Two videos released by HTS, a Syrian jihadist group with close ties to Al-Qaeda, on Friday afternoon depicts their fighters launching anti-tank missiles towards the government-held hill of Tall Um Khazim. The first video shows a guided Konkurs missile narrowly missing a SAA tank that was saved by a dirt fortification in front of it:

The second video however shows a direct hit on a technical that was parked up in the same area. A couple SAA soldiers reportedly died from this attack as they stood close by the site of impact:

Elsewhere on the Shahusiyah axis in northern Hama, the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) so-called ‘Central Division’ struck a static SAA tank with a US-manufactured TOW missile:

In response, the Russian Air Force conducted a wave of sorties on jihadist gathering points in and around Abu Dahur Airbase, pictures released by HTS itself reveal:

Although the SAA is taking casualties, government forces are nevertheless gradually advancing amid a broad front offensive that saw four villages in southern Aleppo liberated from HTS on Thursday and a neighboring town in the Khanasser Plains captured today.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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