Over 30 fighters from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) were killed after being ambushed by ISIS near Al-Hawayes village in Hama’s eastern countryside during today’s firefights through which ISIS was able to capture a number of villages in Hama’s countryside placing them at Idlib’s administrative border.
Opposition sources in the region stated that HTS elements were ambushed on their way to the front lines with ISIS in Al-Hawayes village when ISIS supporters targeted them from the back lines causing a confirmed death toll of 28 whilst injuring dozens more.
The sources added that ISIS cells from the remnants of the extremist Jund al-Aqsa group were the ones behind the attack and soonafter the ambush, those cells reportedly dispersed back to the areas east of the Hama-Aleppo Highway near Ma’arret al-Nu’man, Sinjar, and Abu al-Duhour in Idlib’s countryside.
Opposition sources also presumed that the Jund al-Aqasa fighters most likely came from the city of Sarmin as the city is an infamous ISIS stronghold filled with sleeper cells.
The Opposition sources confirmed that over the past two days, more than 60 HTS fighters were killed during the violent firefights against ISIS. The rebel factions of Jaish al-Izza, Jaish al-Nasr, Free Idlib Army, and Central Division have been reinforcing HTS in the battles against ISIS which managed to capture 9 villages in the latest developments in Hama.