Mon 22 Jul 2019

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Opposition Factions Abort Tow of the Regime’s Attempts at Progress in Rural Hama

Militants of the National Front for Liberation (NFL) on their way to participate in the battles of northern rural Hama – June 6, 2019 (AFP, Omar Haj Qadour)

Militants of the National Front for Liberation (NFL) on their way to participate in the battles of northern rural Hama – June 6, 2019 (AFP, Omar Haj Qadour)

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In northern rural Hama, the opposition factions have failed tow of Assad forces’ attempts at progress to posts that opposition armed groups have already reached in Tal Meleh and al-Jbain.

Today, on Saturday, June 15, Enab Baladi’s correspondent for Hama reported that the Assad forces and their allied militias have tried to advance towards Tel Meleh and al-Jbain twice since dawn. However, they failed, for they were combated by the opposition factions positioned in the area.

The correspondent added that the attempted progress was accompanied by extensive aerial raids, initiated by the Russian and the Syrian regime’s warplanes and covered the majority of the areas in rural Hama and Idlib’s southern countryside.

The Syrian regime has not so far commented on its forces’ two attempts at progress to the opposition factions-held areas, which the forces embarked on despite Russia’s declaration of pacification in the area, providing for an ultimate ceasefire.

The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)-affiliated Ebaa Agency reported that the opposition factions have captured one of the Assad forces’ tanks following the failed attack on the two axes of Tel Meleh and al-Jbain in northern rural Hama.

The agency quoted a military source as saying that the opposition factions managed to buck the Assad forces’ attempts at progress on the axes of Tel Meleh and al-Jbain in northern rural Hama after “violent” confrontations, which resulted in the death and injury of more than 30 personnel of the Liwa al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigade) and the 5th Division.

The opposition factions have lately taken over new posts at the disadvantage of the Syrian regime, which they managed to preserve so far. These posts are Tel Meleh, al-Jbain and al-Dahra School.

The newly controlled posts are located in northern rural Hama and are considered strategic for two reasons: The first is that their being controlled by the opposition would prevent the Assad forces’ reinforcements from arriving in the town of Kafr Nabudah and the villages in southern rural Idlib.

The second, nonetheless, relates to the area’s identity, for it has been affiliated with the regime for years and the factions have failed to make any progress towards it despite their various attempts.

In a former interview with Naji Mustafa, the spokesperson of the NFL, he said that the battles in rural Hama are still ongoing, for the Assad forces are trying to regain the areas to which the opposition factions have advanced in the past a few days.

Following their defeat and failure in northern rural Hama, Mustafa told Enab Baladi, the Syrian regime is trying to replace the forces with new ones, for it has brought in reinforcements to the area in the past two days.

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