Syrian forces clashed with terrorists that had infiltrated towards military points in the direction of al-Zakat-Hasraya in Hama, the Syrian military said in a statement, the official SANA news agency reported on Wednesday.
“Terrorist organizations in Hama northern countryside mobilized large numbers of gunmen and booby-trapped vehicles late on Tuesday and launched an attack in the direction of al-Zakat-Hasraya as our forces, who were operating there, were forced to withdraw from some of our advanced positions,” it said.
The attack was thwarted after the Syrian forces launched a counterattack, it added. “Our units are hunting down the remnants of the militants in the area”.
The area, where the clashes broke out, is located in a planned buffer zone, which surrounds Idlib and also parts of the adjacent provinces of Aleppo and Hama.
Under a deal reached following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in September, all militants should have withdrawn from the demilitarization zone by October 15.
However, al-Qaeda-linked Takfiri terrorists said they refuse to either leave the buffer zone or hand over their weapons.
Moscow believed that the 15-20 kilometer buffer zone would help stop attacks from Idlib-based militants on Syrian Army positions and Russia’s military bases in the flashpoint region.
Idlib and some surrounding areas are the last major bastions of Takfiri terrorists and anti-government militants in Syria, where the Syrian government has in recent months retaken much of the territory it had lost since the conflict erupted in 2011.