Fri 19 Jul 2019

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Rebel Groups Regain Kafrnabouda in Counter-Attack

Fighters of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) during the battles of the Hama countryside - April 2019 (Iba’a news agency)

Fighters of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) during the battles of the Hama countryside - April 2019 (Iba’a news agency)

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Syrian rebel groups launched an offensive in the northwestern Hama countryside to restore the town of Kafrnabouda, which had been seized by the Assad forces on Thursday.

“The military factions entered the town following their military operation at dawn, with clashes currently taking place on their streets with the Assad forces,” the correspondent for Enab Baladi in Hama said on Friday, May 10.

The correspondent added that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is among the groups participating in the operation to regain Kafrnabouda, in addition to the factions of the National Liberation Front (NLF).

The HTS-linked Iba’a news agency reported violent clashes inside the town of Kafrnabouda following a break through the defense lines of the Assad forces.

The agency added that the participating groups targeted two regime-owned military trucks loaded with soldiers with a guided missile on the outskirts of the town.

Many pro-regime news networks, including Sham FM radio station, reported that units of the Assad forces are pushing against a counter-attack on the Kafrnabouda front, and that one Shilka-equipped truck and a personnel carrier were destroyed.

Meanwhile, Russian warplanes have been carrying out intensive raids on the southern countryside of Idlib and the northern and countrysides of Hama.

The Assad forces had seized control during the past few days over the town of Kafrnabouda, followed by the Qalaat al-Madiq area in the western Hama countryside, from which the rebel groups withdrew without a fight.

According to the current map of territorial control, the Assad forces are operating on several axes during the military action, one towards the area of ​​Tel Sakhr in the northern countryside and another towards the western countryside of Hama.

The objectives of the Assad forces’ ongoing military operations, and whether they will continue or stop at certain areas, are yet to be clarified.

Kefarabouda is the gateway to the “liberated” rebel-controlled areas in northern Syria. It borders the southern countryside of Idlib and is considered Idlib’s first line of defense.

The area where the Assad forces are trying to penetrate is strategically located between the northern countryside of Hama and the Ghab Plain in its western countryside.

Map of territorial control in the northern Hama countryside - 10 May 2019 (livemap)

Map of territorial control in the northern Hama countryside – 10 May 2019 (livemap)

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