On Friday, ISIS fighters captured 5 checkpoints of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) near al-Sukhnah town in the eastern Homs countryside, according to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq. The media also claimed that ISIS fighters captured al-Qualya’a village and its gas station south of al-Sukhnah town.
Moreover, Amaq even claimed that ISIS fighters capture the al-Hail gas field east of Palmyra city. Amaq went on and claimed that ISIS fighters attacked the SAA positions in al-Qaryatayn town southwest of Palmyra.
Pro-government sources claim that at least the attack of ISIS sleeper cells on al-Qaryatayn have been repelled. On other frontlines, the situation remains unclear.
Clashes near the T-3 station:
According to Amaq, ISIS fighters killed 40 SAA soldiers around al-Sukhnah, and 34 other in the T-3 station on Friday. Amaq also said that ISIS captured the following weapons from the SAA:
- two battle tanks;
- two BMP-1 vehicles;
- two 122mm artillery pieces;
- two 23mm guns;
- a Kornet ATGM launcher with three Kornet missiles;
- two Konkurs ATGM missiles.
Meanwhile, the pro-opposition media outlet known as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the SAA and its allies killed at least 45 ISIS fighters on the al-Sukhnah–Deir Ezzor highway and around al-Sukhnah town in the last 48 hours.
The ISIS attack in the eastern Homs countryside is for sure bigger than what was expected. The attack will likely last for few days and may cause a significant damage if the SAA and its allies don’t respond rapidly.
There is also no doubt that ISIS took advantage form several mistakes made by the SAA. The most biggest problem was the redeployment of the Tiger Forces from Deir Ezzor to the northern Hama countryside.