Syrian Islamist rebels capture key town western Hama

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Rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). File photo

ARA News 

ALEPPO ــ Subsequent to fierce battles with the pro-regime army forces, Syrian Islamist rebel groups on Sunday gained control of strategic positions in Syria’s central province of Hama.

Islamist groups targeted the pro-regime forces with several car bomb attacks, killing and wounding dozens of soldiers. In return, the regime’s army responded through heavy air raids and artillery bombardment on Islamists’ strongholds.

Speaking to ARA News in Hama, Syrian journalist Rahman Taha said that the Tahreer Army, the Nasr Army, and other Islamist rebels from Jund al-Aqsa faction, carried out a major offensive on headquarters of the regime’s army in the district of Mansoura silos, taking over the area subsequent to conducting a car bomb attack. 

“The Islamist-led attack caused the death of scores of soldiers from the Syrian army and the flight of many others, leaving their heavy and medium weapons behind,” Taha reported.

The source confirmed that Islamist rebels were able also to destroy a tank belonging to the regime’s army forces in the Mansoura district.

Taha emphasized that the Syrian army launched several rockets on the headquarters of the rebel factions inside the towns of Tel Wasit and Mansoura. No casualties reported.

The Islamists also clashed with the regime’s army in the vicinity of Khirbet an-Naqous town, the first line of defense for the pro-regime forces stationed in the camp of Jorin.

Local activists reported that one of Jund al-Aqsa fighters blew up a booby-trapped Bulldozer among dozens of the regime’s army forces at the entrance of the town, which led to the outbreak of fierce clashes between the two sides.

“The rebel fighters were eventually able to take control of parts of Khirbet an-Naqous town, and destroy a regime-led tank by targeting it with a thermal rocket,” Hasan Salama, an activist based in Hama, told ARA News. 

In a related development, the villages loyal to president Bashar al-Assad in western Hama witnessed the displacement of dozens of civilians, especially after Islamists seized control of their villages in the region, according the same source. 

Over the past few months, Islamist rebel factions led by the Conquest Army group were able to capture a number of villages and towns in the al-Ghab plain, especially after taking control of the city of Idlib and Jisr al-Shughur, in northern Syria.

Reporting by: Taim Khalil

Source: ARA News

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