Al-Qaeda militants make new gains in Syria’s Hama after clashes with army troops

Militants of Nusra Front. File photo

ARA News

ALEPPO – Subsequent to fierce battles with the Syrian regime forces, militants of Nusra Front (al-Qaeda branch in Syria) and allied Islamist rebels seized control of several locations in the central Hama province, local activists reported on Thursday. 

Speaking to ARA News in Hama, rights activist Abdul Rahman Taha said the Nusra Front –backed by the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa brigade– carried out a surprise attack on positions for the Syrian army forces on the outskirts of the town of Maan northeast of Hama.

The Nusra Front was able to take over five locations for the regime’s special forces which used to monitor the opposition factions and movements of Islamist brigades on the outskirts of town.

“A number of soldiers from the regime’s army were killed in the attack, while clashes are still ongoing amid Russian aerial bombardment on the Nusra positions in eastern Hama,” Taha reported.

The offensive caused a state of alert in the ranks of the regime’s army in the northern and eastern areas of the province.

Earlier in January, Islamist rebels launched a massive attack on headquarters of the regime’s army in the town of Maan, but the latter was able to repel the attack backed by a Russian air cover. 

Reporting by: Taim Khalil

Source: ARA News

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