On April 4, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) secured several areas between the towns of Sabikhan and al-Salihiyah in the southern Deir Ezzor countryside from ISIS cells, according to the pro-government blog al-Masdar News.
The media department of the SAA said that loads of weapons and ammunition including ATGMs, air-to-air missiles and IEDs were found by the SAA during a search and demining operation around the town of Sabikhan.
On April 3, the SAA and the NDF launched a security operation to eliminate the remaining ISIS cells in the southern Deir Ezzor countryside. So far, the SAA has secured more than 600 square kilometers, according to Syrian pro-government sources.
From its side, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq reported that ISIS fighters had targeted five positions of the SAA around al-Ghbrah in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside with SPG-9 recoilless rifles .
Once the southern Deir Ezzor countryside is secured, the SAA and its allies will likely boost their troops there to launch a military operation to fully eliminate the ISIS-held pocket, which stretches between the eastern Homs countryside and the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside. Syrian pro-government activists believe that the Russian Aerospace Forces will play a key role in this upcoming operation.