Syrian Army rebuffs desperate ISIS counter-attack in east Hama
Elite formations of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) including the Desert Hawks Brigade and the Russian-trained, equipped and jointly commanded 5th Assault Corps have parried a desperate ISIS counter-attack in east Hama that began in the early hours of this morning.
At dawn, whilst darkness still prevailed over the battlefield, ISIS launched a counter-attack to retake the zones of Shahed 9 and Shahed 10 which had been captured by the SAA several days earlier. ISIS employed no less than three vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED) in the opening stages of its assault; all three VBIEDs were destroyed before they reached their targets. In any case, the use of three VBIEDs, even by ISIS standards, is a massive commitment for such a localised counter-attack.
Despite that fact that the SAA was clearly prepared for the attack and destroyed the main shock element of the Islamic State’s assault, ISIS pushed on, throwing its troops at SAA defences. The battle was to last ten hours before the SAA completely repelled the assault and, in the end, the failed counter-attack by ISIS resulted in the death of 15 of its fighters – all of which were likely shock troops.
As mentioned in an earlier article, it appears that ISIS (contrary to its regular doctrine) is fighting a forward defence in eastern Hama, choosing not to voluntarily yield a single inch of territory and launching counter-attacks, were possible (and regardless of how feasible), to retake land that has been wrestled from its grasp.