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Hama alliances shift as rebels push ahead

PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE: Rebel forces including Jabhat a-Nusra took control over […]

25 August 2014

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PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE: Rebel forces including Jabhat a-Nusra took control over the eastern district of Mherda city in Hama province Sunday as at least one brigade, the reportedly 120-strong al-Bitar brigade pictured above, shifted its alliance over to a-Nusra. 

Mherda is used as a base by the regime to bomb surrounding FSA-held territory and as a central point along regime supply lines running from the coast to Hama city and to surrounding pro-regime villages.

Rebels captured the A-Shilout checkpoint in Mherda Sunday, although at least one source, London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, reports that the regime retook it.

Syrian official news agency SANA reported that “army units resisted terrorist aggressions from Jabhat A-Nusra targeting the city of Mherda.”

Also in the western outskirts of Hama, rebel forces pounded the regime outpost of Tel Al-Sheya in a bid to continue south towards the Hama military airport, according to the pro-opposition Greater Badr A-Sham Campaign Facebook page, which uploaded what it said was footage of the attack.

The assault is part of the greater Badr A-Sham campaign, announced by several rebel brigades—including Jabhat A-Nusra, Ahrar A-Sham, and Harakat Hazm—on July 25th, which aims to capture the Hama military airport. The airport serves as a main military base in the region, a source of aerial superiority for the regime and a center for the production of barrel bombs.

-August 25, 2014

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