The northwestern Hama countryside fronts witnessed tensions between “reconciliation” faction fighters and National Defense militia fighters in the Syrian regime forces, following the heavy losses sustained by the latter after an attack by armed Syrian opposition groups.
Sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on Saturday that gunfire and fighting broke out between “reconciliation” fighters and National Defense militia fighters after accusations of treachery were made against the reconciliation fighters.
The reconciliation fighters are former militants who were part of the armed Syrian opposition and who joined regime forces after the “settlements” carried out in Daraa and the Damascus and Homs countrysides and other areas.
The sources said that the dispute between the two sides began after the Syrian opposition blew up a car bomb on the Kernaz town front on Friday, which killed or wounded around 40 National Defense members.
The sources added that the National Defense accused “reconciliation” members of, “betrayal and negligence in allowing the car bomb to pass through their points and not striking it.” This led to clashes breaking out between the two sides after withdrawing from Kernaz to its environs.
According to the sources, from Hama city, about 200 members of the regime forces reached the national hospital in the city, including dead and wounded, most of them members of the National Defense militias.
The sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the reconciliation fighters are taking part in the military operations in the Hama countryside under the Fifth Corps banner, commanded by officers who take orders from the Russian bases in the Hama and Lattakia countrysides.
The National Defense militias in the Hama countryside include thousands of fighters, most of them from pro-regime villages and towns, primarily Muhradah and al-Suqaylabiyah. They are often responsible for checking vehicles at checkpoints and regime guard points.
This dispute comes in light of the continuing attacks by opposition groups, whereby fighting broke out recently on the Kafr Houd fronts, when the opposition was able to destroy two regime vehicles after hitting them with anti-armor rockets.
Meanwhile, Russian military planes are striking roads and civilian homes in the villages and towns and cities of Murak, Kafr Keith, al-Jabin, Tel Maleh, al-Arabain, al-Zakah, and Hasrayah in the northern Hama countryside, causing material damage.
In a reflection of the scale of the Idleb and Hama fighting, the number of dead exceeded 80, as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 83 people had ben killed in 24 hours during fighting between regime forces and rebel groups near Idleb province.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.