The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) launched a new large-scale combing operation in the desert area between Raqqa, Homs and Deir Ezzor on April 16.
According to an official press release of the NDF media wing, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) is supporting the new operation.
In the course of the operation, the Syrian military will chase ISIS cells, destroy terrorist hideouts and remove mines and improvised-explosive devices (IEDs), which might have been planted by the terrorist group.
The new operation came after a series of deadly attacks that targeted personnel of the SAA and its allies. In the last two weeks, ISIS cells killed ten fighters of the al-Quds Brigade and four of the NDF in two separate attacks around the desert.
Hundreds of highly-experienced, well-armed ISIS fighters are reportedly hiding in the Homs desert. A recent report even suggested that the terrorist group’s leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, may be hiding there.
The new combing operation could limit ISIS’ activities around the desert. However, only a real offensive would end the terrorist group presence there.