Syrian rebels capture strategic town near Hama

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Rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army launch a rocket towards the regime-held Hama military airport. File photo: Reuters

ARA News 

DAMASCUS – Subsequent to fierce clashes with Syrian army forces and allied militias, rebels were able to seize the key town of Morek in Hama province, western the country, local activists reported on Thursday.

Speaking to ARA News in Hama, media activist Khaled Mahmoud said that rebel fighters have taken over the town of Morek, which is located north of Hama city on a major highway, “within hours after bombing locations of pro-regime forces with heavy weapons”.

“The town Morek is a strategic place; it was an important base for regime’s forces and their operations against Syrian opposition factions,” he said, pointing out “that’s why the Syrian army, backed by a Russian air cover, has been striving for recapturing it.” 

Russia started airstrikes in Syria on Sept. 30, in support of forces loyal to the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 

Rebel’s recapturing Morek is considered a significant blow to the regime and its allies –Iran and Russian.

“The Russian warplanes started bombing Morek and its surroundings after rebels broke into the town,” Mahmoud told ARA News. 

“Pro-regime forces strived to retake it in 2014 and now they lost it within hours,” he reported.

“The rebel fighters were able to kill dozens of pro-regime troops, seizing heavy machine guns and several tanks,” the source reported. “They started the assault with heavy mortar shelling before storming the town.”

Moscow has recently worked to relaunch peace talks between Syrian government officials and members of the opposition.

However, the Syrian opposition denied any “good intentions” by Russia in the current peace talks, saying the Russians have bolstered the “criminal” regime against the moderate rebels instead of ISIS.

According to local reports, Russia has been involved in killing hundreds of civilians by bombing popular markets, hospitals and schools.

Reporting by: Resho Issa

Source: ARA News

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