The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has eliminated a terrorist group, which had advanced from the US-controlled zone around al-Tanaf and attempted to reach residential areas south of the city of Palmyra, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on January 17.
“As a result of the continues, careful monitoring of US-backed terrorist groups in the area of al-Tanaf on the Syrian-Iraqi border … The authorities eliminated a terrorist group that attempted to sneak out from al-Tanaf in a car towards the desert of al-Hublah, 70km south of Palmyra, at night,” the SANA’s reporter in the governorate of Homs said.
The SAA targeted and destroyed the terrorists’ car killing two of them. One of the dead terrorist was identified as “Elias Yuns Hammud Hilal,” an Iraqi ISIS member. The terrorists were armed with several machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and an explosive belt.
A second group of terrorists was ambushed and captured by the SAA while it was trying to sneak out from the ISIS-held pocket in the Homs desert. The group, which was captured in the area of al-Taliyah, consisted of three terrorists armed with a heavy machine gun and a sniper rifle.
The Damascus government and its allies believe that the US-led coalition and its local proxies are allowing ISIS cells to move freely within the 55km de-escalation zone around al-Tanaf. In order to confront this threat, the SAA stepped up its military presence in eastern Homs and around al-Tanaf, where Russian forces established a new base recently.