Syrian government forces are developing their anti-ISIS operation in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert.
In March, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the local National Defense Forces (NDF) started a security operation in the area in order to crack down ISIS cells there. Since then, government troops have made a series of limited advances capturing a number of points southwest of the city of al-Mayadin. The most recent government advance has taken place in the area of Al Hasyan, which has been cleared from ISIS members.
The ISIS cells operating in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert pose a direct threat to the government-held areas in the Euphrates Valley and in the area of Palmyra.
However, the SAA and the NDF have still been not able to clear the desert because the security situation is still complicatd in other, more vital areas – for example in southern Damascus.
As soon as government troops liberate southern Damascus from ISIS members, they will focus on other militant-held areas across the country. However, even in this case, the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert may become not the main area of the SAA’s efforts.