On Friday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies captured the villages of Znouba and Qatisha east of Saboura town in the eastern Hama countryside. The SAA also captured the farms and hills of Kougan south of Sa’an town after intense clashes with ISIS fighters.
Russian and Syrian Air Force warplanes bombed ISIS fortifications in Abu Hanaya and Salba in the eastern countryside of Salamya town.
From its side, ISIS claimed that its fighters managed yesterday to repel an attack of the SAA and its allies, and to kill six Syrian soldiers during clashes in the vicinity of Al-Dakila village in the eastern countryside of Salamya.
According to pro-government sources, Desert Hawks Brigade forces began withdrawing from the eastern Hama countryside to their HQ in Lattakia after surrendering some of their weapons to the Syrian Military Intelligence for unknown reasons.
It’s believed that the slow advance of the SAA in the eastern Hama countryside despite the announcement of the offensive about two months ago is the result of poor coordination among the various forces involved in the operation, including the Desert Hawks Brigade.
The current plan of the SAA is likely to advance from Resafa town towards Sokhna town and to besiege ISIS forces in the rest of the east and northeast Homs countryside, and the eastern Hama countryside, similar to what happened in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
ISIS clashes with government forces near the Arak gas field area in the Palmyra countryside: