JAF has joined the battle in the eastern rif of Hama to expand the battle field toward areas where the regime largest groups have been staying and with very strong defense lines and their residents have been forced to leave in 2013.
In this second phase, JAF has taken control of many loyalist villages thought to have strong defense lines like trenches, no man lands littered with landmines and very tightten barriers system. In the past 72 hours, JAF took Ma’an, Tleysiya, Jnayna, Karah, Khafseen, Qahera and several barriers, compounds, and has incurred to the regime no less than 100 killed and injured, and destroyed and grabbed military equipments.
This move toward Ma’an and its east has several reasons :
- Limiting the risk of counter attack: after the rebels took over Maardes, Iskandariya and Soran, they become under the regime pressure as long as Ma’an is not controlled. The control means as well stopping any counter attack by the regime as opening the road toward other loyalist areas up to the outskirts of the two villages Maryawid and Mubatne.
- Liberating Hama city: all eyes are turned toward Hama city which is less than 7 kms far from the last point controlled by the rebels through the strongly guarded Qamhana (which remains to be liberated), but JAF has pre-conditionned the liberation of the city by a prior liberation of the two strategic moutains Zain alAbidin and Kafra that overlook the city. JAF progress after Ma’an will encircle the town of Hama from the eastern side, after Qamhana has become the closest point to Hama from the liberated areas.
Picture : Baladi News.
- Lifting the siege of Nth Homs rif : in his last interview, Jolani stressed the importance of this battle for it will allow to break the siege of the North of Homs which is far ~15 kms from both liberated Maardes and Taqsis.
- Cutting the regime supply line to Aleppo: lifting this siege of Nth Homs rif coupled with cutting the road of Hama-Salamiya, will force the regime to use the only supply route Homs-Salamiya through Khanaser to Aleppo.