ISIS retreats from important hill near the al-Sha’ar gas field in eastern Homs

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ISIS retreats from important hill near the al-Sha’ar gas field in eastern Homs

AlMasdarNews reports: Around 8pm last evening, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) recaptured Tal Sawanah, a hill near the al-Sha’ar gas field which was captured by ISIS earlier.

ISIS forces were largely driven back by airstrikes and artillery shelling.

This allowed for elements of the SAA’s 11th Division and the SAA’s 68th Brigade of the 18th Tank Division to recover positions lost yesterday.

No casualties were reported among the ranks of SAA soldiers during their advance.

The Islamic State seized the Sawanah hill yesterday after Tiger Forces departed to Aleppo province which in turn weakened the government frontlines in eastern Homs.

The Tiger Forces – the SAA’s elite assault troops – were instrumental in the SAA’s recapture of Palmyra, a historic city occupied by ISIS since the summer of 2015.

Their redeployment to Aleppo suggests the SAA’s Military High Command prioritizes an Aleppo offensive over liberating Deir Ezzor, a city besieged by ISIS in eastern Syria.

Lately, ISIS has turned to night raids in eastern Homs while government forces rely on day light to conduct air raids on Islamist insurgents.

This in turn has the frontline raging back and forth overnight and at sunbreak.

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