The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies are going to continue their advance in the al-Tanaf area in southern Syria despite a threat of US-led coalition airstrikes, according to a number of local sources and pro-government media activists.
Government troops continued to puttion pressure on western-backed militants west of al-Tanaf and southeast of it (from the direction of Suweida).
Yesterday, the SAA and its allies reached Al-Shuhaimi in about 50 km from the border town of al-Tanaf but faced a resistance from the Jaysh al-Thuwar militant group, supported by the US-led coalition air power. As a result of airstrikes and clashes, government forces lost some 4 battle tanks, a Shilka self-propelled gun, few technical vehicles armed with machine guns, a troop transport vehicle and up to 20 fighters. However, this cannot be confirmed by videos or photos.
According to some sources, the government advance on al-Tanaf is actively backed by Iran that seeks to establish a direct connection between pro-Iranian militias in Syria and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units also supported by Iran. Right now, it is not clear if the operation is coordinated with Russia. Only further Moscow’s actions over the situation could answer to this question.
Meanwhile, Liwa al-Quds reinforcements have arrived to support government forces advancing against ISIS terrorists in the countryside of Palmyra. According to reports, Liwa al-Quds fighters will be involved in the expected government advance on Deir Ezzor aimed at lifting the ISIS siege from this strategic city.