Syrian jihadist group says it launches attack near Hama | Reuters

BEIRUT Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance of Syrian jihadist rebel groups, said on Tuesday it was launching a new offensive near the city of Hama in the central part of western Syria. The group said on a social media feed that it had carried out two suicide car bomb attacks close to the town of Soran in the countryside north of Hama.'The battle of Hama has begun, God be thanked,' the group said in a posting on a Telegram channel it uses. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said there had been big explosions heard in that area and that there were intense clashes between the army on one side and Tahrir al-Sham and some other jihadist groups on the other

Reuters March 22, 2017 00:30:10 IST
Syrian jihadist group says it launches attack near Hama
| Reuters

Syrian jihadist group says it launches attack near Hama
 Reuters

BEIRUT Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance of Syrian jihadist rebel groups, said on Tuesday it was launching a new offensive near the city of Hama in the central part of western Syria. The group said on a social media feed that it had carried out two suicide car bomb attacks close to the town of Soran in the countryside north of Hama."The battle of Hama has begun, God be thanked," the group said in a posting on a Telegram channel it uses.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said there had been big explosions heard in that area and that there were intense clashes between the army on one side and Tahrir al-Sham and some other jihadist groups on the other. Rebels including hardline Islamist groups that joined to form Tahrir al-Sham staged an offensive in northern Hama last year that led to territorial advances in the area near Soran.

Tahrir al-Sham includes the former Nusra Front group, which officially designated itself as the Syrian branch of al Qaeda until last year, when it ended its formal allegiance to the global jihadist organisation.

The Syrian army regained the town last October, according to a military source and war monitor, as part of a push back against insurgents that had lasted for weeks.Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian, Iranian and Shi'ite militia allies have put rebels fighting to oust him on the back foot over the past 18 months with a string of military victories. Rebel groups including Tahrir al-Sham launched a new assault on Monday near to central parts of Damascus, where fierce fighting continues amid heavy bombardment. (Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Julia Glover)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.