The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) have launched a large-scale combing operation in the deserts of Damascus, Deir Ezzor, Raqqa and Homs, Syrian pro-government sources revealed on February 15.
According to the activists, the operation, which began a few days ago, covers the three following regions:
- The region between the western Deir Ezzor countryside and the Bishri mount in the southern Raqqa countryside;
- The region between the historical city of Palmyra in the eastern Homs countryside and the Ghurab mount in the Damascus desert;
- The northeastern part of the Damascus desert that reaches the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Some observers believe that the SAA and its allies could develop the operation to include a fourth front, the ISIS-held pocket in the Homs desert. However, the army doesn’t seem to be ready for such attack now.
Over the last two days, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) carried out a series of airstrikes on ISIS positions in the Damascus desert. Clashes between the army and the terrorist group’s cells were also reported in the region.
The new combing operation is likely aimed at preventing ISIS cells from regathering in central Syria. If the SAA fails to achieve this goal, ISIS could launch new attacks on residential areas in the eastern Homs countryside and the northern al-Suwayda countryside.
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