Syrian rebels advance further towards government-held Hama city

Fighters from the Jund al-Aqsa Islamist Brigade drive towards the northern Syrian town of Tayyibat al-Imam, northwest of Hama on August 31, 2016, after taking control of the town from Syrian government forces. (AFP)

Syrian rebels advanced further towards government-held Hama city on Wednesday, capturing a town in an offensive that threatens government loyalist areas populated by minority Christians and Alawites north of the city, rebels and a monitor said.

The town of Soran, around 14 km north of Hama on the main Aleppo-Damascus highway, was taken “completely”, the hardline militant rebel group Jund al-Aqsa said in an online statement.

Since launching an offensive on Monday in the northern Hama countryside, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) alliance and other rebel groups have taken a number of towns and villages.

They are pushing south from rebel-held Idlib province into a swathe of government-held land which reaches down to the capital Damascus.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the five-year conflict, said Soran had been taken and clashes and air strikes between government forces and rebels continue.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48