Jihadist militants have conducted a deadly raid against Syrian Army positions in northwestern Hama province, killing over a dozen government troops as a result.
The attack on Syrian Army positions occurred near the village of Furu, being carried out by the Jabal al-Islam battalion which is associated with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an offshoot of the former Syrian Al-Qaeda group Al-Nusra Front.
Initial reports suggest that the jihadist raid killed ten Syrian troops, however it appears that the number is likely as high as fifteen Syrian troops killed in action.
In response to the attack, the Syrian Army heavily shelled known jihadist positions and gathering areas across Hama and Idlib countrysides with heavy weapons.
The Jabal al-Islam has existed in Syria for at least six years now. Within its ranks can be found foreigners from Morocco as well as ethnic Turkmen. As with some of the better-equipped militant groups, the jihadist faction possess inghamasii (shock troops) units used to quietly infiltrate government lines and inflict as many casualties as possible.
Worth-notable that the (HTS) group rejected the Idlib demilitarized zone agreement that concluded in Sochi by the Russian president and his Turkish partnership in last September.