On August 28, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) restored control of the Hatil Dam in the eastern Syrian desert forcing ISIS members to retreat from the area. This advance came in the framework of the large-scale SAA effort to put an end to ISIS presence in the al-Safa area at the administrative border between al-Suwayda and Rif Dimashq.
According to the state media, ISIS cells have recently suffered significant loses in the al-Safa area and their defense is about to collapse. However, these claims still have to be confirmed by developments on the ground.
Meanwhile, clashes between the SAA and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants erupted in the northern countryside of Hama, near the administrative border of Idlib province. The SAA carried out a series of artillery strikes on Hayat Tahrir al-Sham targets reportedly destroying two vehicles and eliminating at least five terrorists.
The intensity of the clashes between the sides is low because the situation there remains unclear. While both sides are preparing for military actions each against other, the unclear diplomatic status of the de-esclation zone delays the start of large-scale hostilities.