The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have made majo gains east of the ISIS stronghold of Maskaneh in the province of Aleppo and south of the Homs-Palmyra highway in the province of Homs. In the province of Aleppo, government forces are seeking to retake Maskaneh and to reach the border with the province of Raqqah. At the same time, their goal in the province of Homs is to decrease the influence of US-backed militant groups in border areas of southeastern Syria.
In turn, the US-led coalition has two strategic objectives:
- To not allow the SAA and its allies to reach the border with Iraq;
- To set a foothold for a rapid and successfull storm of Raqqah, forcing civilians to flee the city with an intense bombing campaign.