Syrian government forces and their allies are facing significant pressure from ISIS in central Syria. The situation is especially complicated in the area of Al-Qaryatayn city seized by ISIS sleeper cells and al-Sukhna town besieged by ISIS in the province of Homs.
Government forces are pressuing on ISIS members in Al-Qaryatayn after retaking abal Hazm al-Abyad west of the city. No intense fighting was reported in its vicinity. However, local sources say that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) artillery is actively shelling ISIS targets inside it.
In any case, the ISIS-held city draws a notable government force that could be used against the terrorist group on other frontlines. The Syrian military had been forces to deploy additional reinforcements to the area and now the SAA and its allies are preparing to storm the city.
At the same time an intense fighting is ongoing between the SAA and ISIS near the town of Sukhna at the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway. ISIS units have seized Tuntur Mount west of the town and are using it to shell government troops in the area. However, the terrorist group has not been able to cut off the Palmyra-Sukhna part of the Palmyra-Sukhna-Deir Ezzor highway.
Separately, the SAA took back the al-Hayl gas field that was seized by ISIS earlier this week. Despite this, government forces were not able to regain areas east of Sukhna and to restore security over the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway, one of the key supply lines to government forces operation in the Deir Ezzor countryside.
A video has appeared online showing a large convoy of the Syrian Marines that is moving for a battle against ISIS in central Syria. The Marines will reportedly participate in operations against ISIS in the province of Homs. Most likely they will particiapte in the operation in Al-Qaryatayn city or near Sukhna town.
The video is currently unavailable. It was probably deleted because it revealed some info about the number and equipment of the government forces.
The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq claimed on October 6 that ISIS members downed a Russian helicopter near Shaykh Hilal in eastern Hama. Following the ISIS statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Mi-28 Russian combat chopper made an emergency landing due to malfunction in the area. The crew was evacuated safely.
Earlier on October 6, the Russian ministry said that U.S. forces use refugees living in the Rukban camp in southeast Syria as a human shield and added that the US-led coalition turned the at-Tan area into a “black hole” used by ISIS mobile groups for attacks against government forces.
On October 5, Amaq released an infographics showing alleged losses of the SAA in clashes with ISIS in central Syria since September 28. According to the infographics, ISIS members killed 390 pro-government fighters and destroyed 11 battle tanks, 3 BMP-1 vehicles, 2 Shilka vehicles, 3 rocket launchers and 3 vehicles.