Friday, 17 March 2017

Syrian Army Controls New Areas East of Palmyra, Destroys ISIL Gatherings in Deir Ezzor

March 16, 2017
Syrian Army Tank in Damascus countryside
The Syrian Army and Armed Forces units continued on Thursday carrying out counter-terrorism operations across the country, killing many of terrorists.
Army units in cooperation with the supporting forces regained full control over al-Mazar Mountains chain and the transportation warehouses in the countryside of Palmyra city in Homs province and continued operations in pursuing
ISIL terrorists in the eastern countryside of the province.
A military source told SANA Thursday that the army units carried out military operations targeting ISIL terrorist gatherings in the eastern countryside of Homs and established full control over al-Mazar Mountains chain, about 15km east of Palmyra and restored control over the transportation warehouses in the area.
The army operations eliminated scores of ISIL terrorists and destroyed their weapons, according to the source.
The army units dismantled the mines and explosive devices which the terrorists planted in the area.
Later, army units, in cooperation with the supporting forces, establish control over the mountain chain of al-Mostadira and the surrounding strategic points to the east of Tadmur (Palmyra) and are hunting down the remaining ISIL terrorists in the area.
Deir Ezzor
Army units destroyed gatherings and fortifications of ISIL terrorists in Deir Ezzor city.
SANA reporter said that an army unit carried out special operations against the command centers and fortifications of ISIS terrorists to the south of Brigade 137 at the southwestern skirts of the city, destroying three barricades, killing and injuring a number of the terrorists.
The reporter added that the army’s artillery opened heavy fires at the dens and movements of ISIL terrorists in the vicinity of Deir Ezzor airport, the areas of al-Thurda, al-Makabat, graveyards and Talet Alloush, inflicting heavy losses upon terrorists in personnel and equipment.
During continued operations in the southern Daraa province, units of the army killed and injured 34 al-Nusra Front terrorists in Daraa al-Balad area.
A military source told SANA that the army units carried out intensive operations against gatherings and fortifications of al-Nusra terrorists in the neighborhoods of al-Kark, al-Seibeh, al-Bahar, al-Arbaeen, Haret al-Bado, Haret al-Fern and in the surroundings of al-Masri roundabout in Daraa al-Balad area.
The operations resulted in the death of 14 terrorists, in addition to injuring 20 others and destroying 7 command centers and a vehicle equipped with a 14.5 mm machinegun.
Source: SANA
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), predominately consisting of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), have been advancing along the Euphrates River east of the ISIS stronghold of Raqqah, recapturing Khass Hibal and the nearby grain silos.
This advance allowed the SDF to deploy closer to Judayat Khabour, Hamad Assaf and Al Kulayb from which Kurdish forces had retreated earlier this month. SDF units have to retake these villages as well as the areas near Hamrat Balasim and Hamrat Nasir in order to isolate Raqqah from the eastern direction. However, even in this case Raqqah will be isolated only from the one side of the river. Thus, the SDF will need to cut across the Euphrates and to reach Raqqah outskirts.
Considering the increasing US ground presence in Syria, US-led forces will have enough military capabilities to launch a storm of Raaqah and to after some time seize the city. In turn, Syrian government forces will likely make an attempt to reach a group of strategic sites southwest of Raqqah: Tabqa, the Tabqa Airbase and the Tabqa dam.
If done, the government will be able to limit the US presence in the country with northeastern Syria. However, government forces will also need to secure the area of Deir Ezzor and its oil fields from ISIS. These efforts will draw a significant means and capabilities from the Syrian military which will delay operations against Hayat Tahir al-Sham in the western part of the Aleppo province.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army continued operations against ISIS near Palmyra, capturing the Mustadira Mountain and getting a fire control over the western part of the Mustadira gas field. This will likely lead to the liberation of the area in the nearest future. If done, government forces will be able to focus on a bunch of hilltops and the military site between the Mustadira and Jazal fields.
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