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Intense Firefights at Jabal Al-Sha’ar in Homs; SAA Captures Tal Sayyid in Hama

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For two days straight, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) have been engaged in violent clashes at Jabal Al-Sha’ar in east Homs, resulting in heavy losses on both sides. ISIS launched the attack on the Al-Sha’ar Gas Fields; initially, taking control of Wells 101, 102, and 103 from the SAA. However, the SAA launched a counter-attack capturing Wells 101 and 102 yesterday, as firefights ensue at Well 103 in the northern sector of the Al-Sha’ar Gas Fields.

The SAA has launched an attack on ISIS positions near Well 103 at Tal Al-Seereetal –a strategic hill that overlooks the Al-Sha’ar Gas Fields. If the SAA can capture this vital hill, ISIS will be forced to withdraw from the area due to a disadvantage in field position. According to a military source, ISIS has suffered substantial losses in the last 48 hours; despite this, he was not able to confirm the total number dead – he did add that 26 SAA/NDF soldiers have been confirmed killed-in-action (KIA).

ISIS militants detonated a car bomb on the Homs-Palmyra Road near the Al-Tafour Airport in east Homs – the airport is located approximately 25km from the Al-Sha’ar Gas Fields. The car bomb was detonated at an SAA checkpoint, which resulted in the death of 3 soldiers, including an officer with the rank of “captain”. Following the explosion, ISIS militants attempted two suicide bombing attacks aimed at the fuel containers near the defense garrison at the airport. The suicide bombing attempts were quelled by the SAA, who followed up with a series of attacks on ISIS militants outside of the airport. Over 30 ISIS militants were killed during their infiltration attempt into Al-Tafour Airport.

In west Hama, the Syrian Arab Army’s 11th Tank Division captured Tal Sayyid near the besieged city of Kafr Zita, after violent clashes following the fall of Morek. The hill is strategically located northeast of Kafr Zita and north of Al-Lataminah.

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