BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched a counter-offensive in the northwestern countryside of the Hama Governorate this morning, a source from the military told Al-Masdar News.

According to the military source, reinforcements from the government strongholds of Mhardeh, Masyaf, Qomhana, and Sqaylabiyeh arrived at the front-lines last night to help the Syrian Arab Army fend off the large-scale jihadist attack.

The source added that the Syrian Arab Army began the counter-offensive by targeting Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham’s positions at the town of Kafr Houd.

Some field reports indicate that the Syrian Arab Army has managed to retake several points already; however, Al-Masdar cannot confirm these claims.

On Thursday evening, the jihadist forces and their Turkish-backed rebel allies launched a big assault in northwestern Hama that targeted the towns located between Mhardeh and Sqaylabiyeh.

The jihadist rebels, led by Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, seized several areas from the Syrian Arab Army, including the towns of Jibeen and Kafr Houd, and the key hilltop of Tal Malah.

Tal Malah overlooks the main road between Sqaylabiyeh and Mhardeh; its capture has resulted in the closure of this roadway.

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