MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. Groups of militants in the south of the de-escalation zone Idlib led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (former Jabhat al-Nusra outlawed in Russia) are creating a strike force and their attack on Hama is not ruled out, the chief of Russia’s center for the reconciliation of conflicting parties in Syria, Major-General Viktor Kupchishin told the media on Saturday.
"According to information available at this point groups of militants under the command of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham have been building up strength near Latamna and Kafer-Zaita in the south of the de-escalation zone Idlib over the past few days. It should not be ruled out that they are creating a strike force with the aim of mounting an offensive against Hama," Kupchishin said.
He warned that the situation in the de-escalation zone Idlib had continued to worsen over the past day. Militants shelled Skelbia and Mgair in Hama Province and Mamuiya and Sanjeka, in Latakia province.
"As it was stated earlier, the air base Khmeimim and also Syrian government forces in Latakia province were repeatedly attacked lately from the militants’ positions in the areas of Qalaat al-Mudiq and Bab Atiqa in the western part of the mentioned zone with the use of multiple rocket launchers and drones. From the southern part of the de-escalation zone Idlib militants repeatedly mount fire attacks on the positions of government troops in Mahardah and Skelbia," Kupchishin said.