On January 24, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) redeployed the Russian-backed Qalamun Shield Forces (QSF) from the Eastern Ghouta region to the southeastern Idlib countryside to counter the growing threat of ISIS, according to a report of the pro-government blog al-Masdar.
ISIS fighters were besieged in the northern eastern Hama countryside and parts of the southeastern Idlib countryside by the SAA and its allies on January 20. Since then, the terrorist group has started conducting hit and run attacks against SAA units east of the town of Sinjar in southeastern Idlib.
The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq reported on January 24 that ISIS fighters killed five Syrian soldiers and captured two others in an ambush east of Sinjar. ISIS fighters also captured three vehicles and several weapons from the SAA.
The QSF will likely launch a limited military operation west of Sinjar against ISIS to push it away from the southeastern Idlib countryside, while the National Defense Forces (NDF), deployed in the northeastern Hama countryside, will resume its operations against ISIS in the region.
The Russian-backed force showed a notable efficiency in the battlefield and captured several villages in the northeastern Hama countryside from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in December 2017 before it was redeployed to the Eastern Ghouta to counter the Ahrar al-Sham Movement attack on the Armored Vehicles Base.