Jihadist groups attack strategic town north of Hama, Syria

Jihadist groups in Hama, central Syria have redirected the offensive they started on Tuesday towards the strategic town of Qomhana, located 8 kilometres north of Hama city, reports the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

An account on the instant-message service Telegram that is affiliated with the jihadist alliance spearheading the assault, Tahrir al-Sham, said a suicide attack had been carried out there and shared photos from inside the town.

“Air strikes have now started, and there is concentrated artillery firing against the armed groups and the headquarters of their leaders and supply lines, paving the way for the counter-attack,” a Syrian military source told Reuters.

Many jihadists are reported to have lost their lives in the fighting, including Abu Ahed, commander of the Tahrir al-Sham forces that launched the attack and the town is still under the control of the Syrian army.

Rebel groups spearheaded by jihadist insurgents launched the attack on Hama on Tuesday and had captured eight villages including Kawkab and Iskendariyah, before retreating north after the Syrian Army sent reinforcements to the northern Hama frontline and started a counter offensive.

Jihadist groups said that they sent reinforcements to the Hama front this morning, while photographs showed armoured ACV-15 vehicles in the inventory of the Turkish Army being deployed with groups fighting under the name of the FSA were also shared.