At least 31 pro-government fighters and 17 terrorists of ISIS were killed in clashes along the Homs-Deir Ezzor highway during the last week , the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on January 23.
Units of the Syrian Arab Army 5th Corps, the National Defense Forces and the Palestinian al-Quds Brigade kicked off a large-scale combing operation to secure the highway, known as the M20, exactly one week ago.
According to the SOHR, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces have so far carried out 130 airstrikes on ISIS cells in eastern Homs and western Deir Ezzor to support the operation.
The operation was launched in response to ISIS attacks on troops and civilians traveling on the M20. Last month, 25 people were killed when the terrorists ambushed a bus near the town of Kabbajb.
Syrian government forces are currently conducting a similar combing operation against ISIS cells in the western Deir Ezzor countryside.
These operations may limit the movement of ISIS cells and inflict some losses on the terrorist group. However, more serious measures will likely be needed to put an end to the group’s presence in Syria’s central region.
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