On Wednesday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Tribal Forces captured Qurat Rumailan and Rumailan Dam, and 15 oil and gas wells 10km east of Dibisan. Government forces also captured the Dibisan 1 and Dibisan 2 pumping stations.
During their advance, the SAA and its allies, managed to destroy 7 VBIEDs, a battle tank and four vehicles belonging to ISIS. The Syrian Air Force destroyed the main ISIS headquarters in the vicinity of Al-Zemla
The ISIS-linked News Agency Amaq claimed that 8 Syrian soldiers were killed as a result of an ISIS attack on the village of Abu Allaj at the Raqqa-Ithriya road.
There are reports that some high-ranking SAA officers were also killed.
General Mundhir Mayhoub, Brigadier General Ayman Habib and others from the 5th Corps/Legion martyred in IS IED attack near Ithriya pic.twitter.com/NW40rMJn0L
— Hassan Ridha (@sayed_ridha) 19 July 2017
From its side, pro-government sources from Raqqa claimed that Tribal Forces and the SAA Tiger Forces managed to reach and to take control of the Ittihad University near Qusrat Afnan. This point is located less than 4 km from the southern entrance of Raqqa. However, this report hasn’t been confirmed yet by any official source.
Since the beginning of their operation in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, the Syrian military command has been working to increase the secrecy and censorship among soldiers involved in the operation. The SAA prevented the fighters from publishing news about operations and advances. In some cases, the army even avided announcing gains for two or three days. The reason is the SAA desire to maintain the element of surprise.