28 May 2019 10:42

Some 100 militants killed, 3 tanks destroyed as Syrian govt forces repel terrorist attack in Hama governorate - Russia's Gen. Kupchisin

MOSCOW. May 28 (Interfax) - Syrian government forces have repelled an attack staged by militants of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group (previously known as Jabhat al-Nusra, banned in Russia) in northern Syria, dealing a heavy blow to terrorists, the head of the Russian center for reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria, Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin, said at a press briefing on Monday.

"Militants of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorist group and affiliated formations attacked government forces' positions near the populated locality of Kafr Nbouda in the north of the Hama governorate simultaneously from two directions early on May 26," he said.

"The offensive on government forces' positions involved nearly 450 militants, seven tanks, five infantry fighting vehicles, and 12 off-road vehicles equipped with large-caliber machineguns. The militants' attack was also backed by three multiple-launch rocket systems," he said.

"During the defensive battle, the Syrian government forces destroyed three tanks, two multiple-launch rocket systems, an infantry fighting vehicle, and six off-road vehicles with large-caliber machineguns. Some 100 militants were also eliminated," Kupchishin said.

"In the past day, attacks were observed in the Idlib de-escalation area targeting the populated localities of Safsafa (twice), Mamuhiya (twice), Iqqo, Rwaiset Iskander, Tell al-Tut, al-Areim, Ain al-Ashara, Nahshebba, and Ain al-Naur of the Latakia governorate and also Sqalbiya (twice) and Kafr Nbouda in the Hama governorate," he said.

"A checkpoint has been functioning near the populated locality of Suran in the Hama governorate" since May 27 "in order to facilitate civilians' voluntary and unhindered entry into and exit from the Idlib de-escalation area," Kupchishin said.