On November 3, the Iraqi Aletejah TV channel broadcasted footage of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies inside al-Qa’im city near the Syrian-Iraqi border.
The footage showed a T-90A tank, and a Shilka vehicle equipped with the Syrian-made Sarab-1 active protection system of the SAA inside al-Qa’im.
The UK-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper also reported back then that officials from the Iraqi Army and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) met with officials of the SAA in Damascus and agreed to allow the SAA and the Iraqi Army to operate inside each other territories when needed.
The SAA, Hezbollah and several units of the PMU will likely advance towards the last ISIS stronghold in Syria, al-Bukamal city, form inside the Iraqi territory soon.
Using the Iraqi territory as a corridor to attack ISIS in al-Bukamal city will allow the SAA to save a lot of time and efforts. This will also allow the SAA to reach the city before the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The Russian military already intensified its bombing campaign on ISIS in al-Bukamal city. On November 3, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation announced that strikes of Tu-22M3 strategic bombers and other warplanes destroyed several positions of ISIS inside and around al-Bukamal.
The Russian military also announced that the Kilo-class submarine ‘Kolpino’ fired six Kalibr cruise missiles on ISIS positions near al-Bukamal.
If the SAA attacks ISIS in al-Bukamal from the Iraqi territory, ISIS may retreat from the city towards the Homs desert in central Syria. A quick ISIS defeat in al-Qa’im city proves that the real number of ISIS fighters between Syria and Iraq is way lower than it was expected before.