On December 29, the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) secured an important hill top – Tell Shurifah – at the Al-Qaryatayn-Tyas road in the province of Homs.
Government forces engaged ISIS forward detachments and as result of a series of firefights were able to entrench in the area. Until December 29 the hilltop had been vulnerable to ISIS raids and posed a threat to government forces movement.
Clashes were also reported near the Shurifah village west of the Tyas Airbase. Government forces have been clashing there with ISIS raid units aiming to annoy the Syrian army and its allies; preventing them from launching an offensive operation along the Tyas-Palmyra road.
Pro-ISIS sources claim that the terrorist group has destroyed up to 11 battle tanks belonging to the Syrian army and its allies near the Tyas Airbase since December 28. These reports have not been confirmed by photos or videos.