On April 30, the Syrian Arab Amy (SAA) 5th Assault Corps and the National Defense Forces (NDF), backed up by Russian warplanes and attack helicopters, launched a new military operation against ISIS in the eastern Homs countryside.
The operation began after a heavy bombardment by the Russian Air Force on ISIS positions in the eastern Homs countryside.
Government forces advanced from two directions:
- Advancing from Al-Farqals, the SAA captured the villages of Jibab Hamad and Tadmuria.
- Advancing from Umm Al-Sarj, government troops captured Jabbab Hamad Rajm Al-Qasr, Rajm Dergam, Al-Rajm al-A’ali, Al-Rajm al-Madraji, the Al-Ay’lam hill and the Turks hill.
The current operation is ongoing in a mountainous area filled with caves. This creates additional difficulties for government forces and slowing down their advance.
Some pro-government sources believe that the ultimate goal of the operation and other similar operations in the nearby area is the town of Al-Aqeibarat in the east Hama countryside. Al-Aqeibarat is an important ISIS stronghold in the Syrian desert. ISIS had launched at least two attacks on Palmyra from the town of Al-Aqeibarat.