For over one month, the Syrian Arab Army’s 45th Regiment of the 1st Armored Division and the 87th Brigade of the 11th Tank Division have been under a brutal siege at the Jisr Al-Shughour National Hospital, as militants from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” have relentlessly attempted to break-through the Syrian Armed Forces’ frontline defenses to capture the medical facility.
On Friday morning, the Syrian Armed Forces made the decision to attempt to escape the swarming Jabhat Al-Nusra militants at the Jisr Al-Shughour National Hospital and make their way to the NDF-controlled Sawmill Checkpoint amid the Syrian Arab Air Force’s (SAAF) aerial bombardment of the enemy combatants nearby.
The planned escape was devised by the officers in the SAA’s Central Command; they developed a contingency that provided the entrenched soldiers at the Jisr Al-Shughour National Hospital with a pathway to evade the Jabhat Al-Nusra militants, while the Syrian Arab Air Force would mercilessly bombard the enemy combatants in order to divert any possible militant interference.
Despite some shortcomings, 127 soldiers and civilians have made it to safety thus far, including the commander of the operation – Colonel Mahmoud Sabha – who was interviewed by Syria’s “Al-Ikhbariya” shortly after his arrival in the provincial capital of the Latakia Governorate.
According to a military source, the number of dead among the 170-180 soldiers at the Jisr Al-Shughour National Hospital has not been determined; however, the source did add that the propaganda video from Orient TV – which depicted over 100 SAA soldiers killed – is likely comprised of old footage, as the total number of dead they claim and the total number of soldiers who escaped to safety conflict one another – it will likely not be confirmed for a few days, as a number of soldiers have not been accounted for.