Government holds at Joureen; ceasefire for Zabadani, Fu’ah, Kafraya fails.

Aug17

Surrounded since Jaysh al-Fatah stormed Idlib province in March, the government-held villages Fu’ah and Kafraya have fallen further and further behind opposition lines. Loyalist troops have remained garrisoned, supplied by air drops. In response to an ongoing government offensive in Zabadani, rebel groups ramped up operations against the two encircled towns on July 15, 2015.

Meanwhile, the flat open terrain of al- Ghab plain changed hands oftenTal Wassit, Frikka and Zeyzoun power plant became major points of contention as Jaysh al- Fatah worked to dislodge the remaining government forces from Idlib governorate.

SAA tank cooks off after being struck by TOW missile.

The rebel advance threatens the government-held coastal city of Latakia, a bastion of loyalist support. SAA and NDF fighters remain dug in at Joureen.

On Monday, Aug. 10, Jaysh al- Fatah advanced on the encircled towns following a tunnel bomb recorded by opposition media.

The same day, Colonel Suheil Al Hassan appeared on video en route to al- Ghab plain after being reported injured.

Another assault commenced at Fu’ah on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Aug. 12, a ceasefire was reached. Syrian government and Hezbollah forces in Zabadani halted their attack. In Fu’ah and Kafraya, the shelling stopped.

Quiet on the Fu’ah front lines. 

The peace did not last. An Ahrar al-Sham spokesman said the group would not accept “forced sectarian migration” as a consequence of any walk-out terms.

The shelling of Fu’ah and Kafraya continues, as does the government and Hezbollah advance in Zabadani. Rebels at al-Ghab plain now threaten Joureen.

Opposition correspondent declares shelling to resume. 

Ahrar al-Sham resumes shelling. 

SAA and Hezbollah forces fight in Zabadani.

For background on this topic, check out my writeup on the fighting in al-Ghab plain. (Links from July 15-29)
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