The artillery and missile units shelled terrorists’ positions in the villages of Lahaya and Ma’arkabah in Northern Hama after militants tried to prevail over the government forces’ positions from the demilitarized zone.
In the meantime, other units of the army, tipped off on the movements of Jeish al-Izzah terrorists near the small town of al-Latamina, targeted them and preempted their attack, inflicting several casualties on them.
The army soldiers engaged in heavy fighting with terrorists, deployed South of the town of Morek, and repelled their attempt to prevail over the government forces’ positions in Tal Bazam.
A number of militants were killed or wounded and their remaining pockets retreated from the battlefield.
Other artillery units, monitoring terrorists’ movements, launched attacks on the militants in the small towns of al-Arabaeen, al-Zakat, Tal al-Sakhar and Hasraya and destroyed their positions.
They, meantime, damaged a military convoy of the Turkistani Islamic Party on Sarmaniyah-Mashari’a road.
Also, terrorists’ movements in Skeik and al-Kowein regions East of Ma’arat al-Nu’aman in Southeastern Idlib came under the army’s artillery attack that inflicted heavy casualties on the militants and defused their impending attack.
A military source said that the army targeted a military convoy of Ajnad al-Qafqaz terrorists in al-Kowein and al-Farajah in Southeastern Idlib, inflicting major losses on them.
The terrorists’ refusal to implement the Sochi Agreement to establish a demilitarized zone is pushing the army to initiate its long-waited assault on militants in Idlib that had been put on hold due to the Sochi Agreement.
Colonel Mar’ei Hamdan, a Syrian military expert, was quoted by the Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency as saying last month that Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) is in control of nearly 70% of towns and villages in Idlib province and makes provocative moves against the Syrian army, adding that the army’s commitment to decrease tensions is not lasting forever.
He added that the Syrian army has so far repelled all attacks by terrorists against its positions and inflicted heavy damages on them, noting that the army is now necessitated to come out of the defensive mood to retake control of Idlib.
Hamdan said that Tahrir al-Sham will resort to a full-scale military operation against the Syrian and Russian armies soon, after rejecting the Sochi agreement last October, which leaves no room for ceasefire or disarmament anymore, and underlined that the Syrian army’s battle against Tahrir al-Sham is inevitable.