Heavy Syrian regime losses in Hama
Syrian opposition forces recaptured two villages in the Hama countryside, west-central Syria, on Friday, after they were seized by government troops as part of a major offensive that began last month.
"Opposition fighters captured the villages of Atshan and Um Hartain in the northern and eastern Hama countryside this morning, a month after they were seized by the regime with the assistance of Russian airstrikes," the director of the Hama Media Centre, Yazan Shahdawi told al-Araby al-Jadeed.
The London based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 16 pro-regime fighters were killed in the fight for the two villages.
Meanwhile, the media office of Ajnad al-Sham, one of the rebel groups that took part in the battle, has claimed that 50 regime troops have been killed.
Rebel fighters also seized two regime tanks and a Kornet missile system from the village of Um Hartain, Shahdawi said.
The villages are situated in a strategic location overlooking a number of pro-regime villages and on the route between the northern and eastern countryside of Hama. This development will enable rebel forces to cut off the regime's supply route in the Hama countryside.
Rebel forces have recently captured a number of other villages in the Hama countryside allowing them to ensure their supply lines and movements.
Meanwhile, the Hama Media Centre reported that over 100 regime forces were killed and many others captured in the strategic town of Morek, north of the city of Hama, which was seized by rebel factions on Thursday.
The recent rebel advances in Hama have been the largest since the regime launched its offensive on the area last month with the assistance of Russian airstrikes.