The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had inflicted heavy losses on ISIS cells in the southern countryside of Raqqa, Syrian pro-government sources reported on June 25.
The army kicked off a large-scale combing operation to in the southern Raqqa countryside on June 24 with support from the Russian Aerospace Forces. The 17th Division, 25th Special Mission Forces Division and the 5th Corps are participating in the operation, which is mainly taking place in the outskirts of the town of al-Resafa and in Mount al-Bishri.
On the very first day of the operation, Russian warplanes carried out more than 50 airstrikes on ISIS cells and their hideouts in support of SAA troops.
According to the pro-government sources, the SAA has so far killed at least nine terrorist of ISIS. Several vehicle and heavy weapons of the group have been also destroyed.
The operation was response to the June 20 central Syria ambush by ISIS cells, which claimed the lives of 11 service members of the SAA and two civilians who were traveling from Raqqa to Homs.
The rapid response by the SAA and its allies have apparently caught ISIS cells in the southern Raqqa countryside by surprise. The terrorists didn’t have enough time to flee towards remote parts of the central region ahead of the operation.
The operation will likely force ISIS cells to retreat from the southern Raqqa countryside. However, it won’t put an end to the terrorist group’s insurgency.