Key rebel group Suqour al-Sham has mourned a senior commander killed on Monday in ongoing clashes in Hama province, activists reported.
In a statement posted online, general commander Abu Issa al-Sheikh mourned Raddad Khallouf, a field commander who was killed in Morek in battles with regime forces pressing a heavy offensive to control the northern countryside of Hama.
Sheikh lauded Khallouf’s bravery as one of most powerful rebel commanders in Suqour al-Sham.
Regime air forces on Monday conducted more 15 airstrikes on the towns of Morek and Kafr Zeita in readiness to launch a ground offensive, activists said.
Activists said regime armed forces backed by the Lebanese Hezbollah movement and National Defence Forces militias are planning to storm Kafr Zeita, used as main route for arms supplies to rebels in Morek.
Clashes in Hama have been sparked after a long period of calm between Assad's forces and rebels in the historic province, which witnessed bloody clashes and memorable protests at the beginning of the Syrian uprising in 2011.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer