The Syrian Arab Army’s artillery and the Russian Air Force increased military strikes on ISIS militants in the mountains surrounding the ancient city of Palmyra in the province of Homs, especially at the grain silos, Jabal Antar, Arak, Al-Talilah Reserve and the armament depot.
This move was a respond to continued ISIS attacks on Syrian Arab Army (SAA) positions near at the areas of Jazal and Silos. Pro-ISIS media outlets claimed that ISIS terrorists had destroyed a tank and two BMP vehicles belonging to the SAA. Three Syrian soldiers were reportedly killed as a result of ISIS mortar shelling in the Jazal Oil Fields area.
ISIS remains in control of some of the most important oil and gas fields in the area, like Sha’er fields, Jihar fields, al-Mahr fields, the strategic towns of Sakhna and Khafsa and the nearby oil fields.
Opposition sources suggest ISIS withdrew the bulk of its forces from that region onto Raqqa and Tabqa to hamper the progress of the advancing Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). However, this still has to be confirmed by at least some evidence.
It is expected that the Syrian Armed Forces will resume their advance into the Syrian desert in order to capture all the villages and oil fields around Palmyra.
In the second phase, the Syrian Army could proceed with attacking Sakhnah to lift the siege off Republican Guard forces garrisoning Deir Ezzor.