Later that day, the Syrian government army launched a massive assault on the village of Zakiyah and seized an important crossroads near the village, cutting IS’s major supply route from Raqqa to nearby Hama province.
The Syrian government army’s 555th Brigade, 4th Mechanized Division, “Desert Hawks” brigade and Golani regiment, as well as the pro-government Palestinian Liwaa Al-Quds militia (Jerusalem brigade) took part in both ground offensives.
A source in the 555th brigade told Al-Masdar that IS militants entrenched at Tal Masbah hilltop were forced to flee northeast towards the desert on the Raqqa-Hama border, where an intense battle between the terror group and government forces is taking place.
"This is an indication of the direction of coming operations toward Raqqa," a military source briefed on the battle told Reuters. “In general, the Raqqa front is open ... starting in the direction of the Tabqa area.”
The advance into IS-held Raqqa province would allow Damascus to regain control over a region where Syrian government forces have had no presence since 2014. It would also complicate any move by Saudi Arabia to deploy forces to the area.
BREAKING: Saudi jets to fly missions in Syria from Turkish basehttp://on.rt.com/74g2
The possible Saudi intervention as well as recent Turkish artillery shelling of Kurdish and Syrian army positions came amid a successful anti-IS offensive by government forces in Aleppo, another important region.
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