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by Leith Fadel

HAMA, SYRIA (8:05 A.M.) – The jihadist rebels captured several villages in the northern countryside of the Hama Governorate on Tuesday, taking advantage of the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) poor defenses near the provincial capital.

Led by Jund Al-Aqsa (Syrian Al-Qaeda franchise) and Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra front), the jihadist rebels managed to capture a half dozen villages from the Syrian Armed Forces, leaving them within striking distance of the key town of Taybat Al-Ism.

Among the six villages captured by the jihadist rebels on Tuesday was the Alawite village of Al-Talisah, which was recently depopulated due to the looming threat posed by the sectarian militants in northern Hama.

Currently, the jihadist rebels are storming the Syrian Arab Army controlled village of Zughbah, which is located near Al-Talisah.

On Tuesday, the Syrian Armed Forces sent reinforcements from the 3rd Division to the northern Hama countryside; however, Al-Masdar is unable to verify their current whereabouts at this front.