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Voiceover by Harold Hoover
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies, backed up by Russian warplanes and attack helicopters, have made fresh advances against ISIS terrorists in the province of Homs. They have liberated the Tafaha hills area within about 20 km northwest of the Tiyas Airbase and engaged ISIS units near the Arak gas field near Palmyra.
ISIS claimed that its members had been able to hit two SAA battle tanks with anti-tank guided missiles near the Palmyra silos. The fate of the crews is unknown.
According to pro-government sources, some 15 ISIS members were killed in the recent clashes.
In the province of Aleppo, government forces, led by the SAA’s Tiger Forces, have liberated Jarah Kabir, Durubiyah al-Kabirah, Nafiiyah, Atira, Atira Cattle Farm, Mazyounat al-Humur, Tall Hassan, and Jubb al-Ali from ISIS terrorists.
The SAA is advancing towards the strategic ISIS-held town of Maskanah. Multiple airstrikes against ISIS targets were reported in this countryside.
Meanwhile, reports appeared that the Desert Hawks Brigade had arrived the Ithriyah-Aleppo road area in order to support the SAA’s efforts against ISIS in central Syria.
The SAA has repelled several fierce ISIS attacks in the city of Deir Ezzor. According to the Syrian Defense Ministry, 28 terrorists were killed and 30 others were wounded during the clashes. The SAA also managed to destroy a tank, a BMP-1 vehicle, and 2 technicals armed with 23mm guns.
As ISIS is collapsing in Syria and Iraq, sides involved in the conflicts have increased their efforts in the area of the Syrian-Iraqi border. Western-backed militant groups, supported by the US-led coalition’s special forces and airpower, increased their activity in southern Syria.
US-led forces are pretending to control the whole Syrian-Iraqi border area south of the Euphrates. However, while al-Bukamal remains under the ISIS rule, this is not possible.
Another important target is Deir Ezzor. The Deir Ezzor countryside is full of oil fields and if US-backed forces reach it they would impose control over these important assets. Deir Ezzor and Raqqah remain the only cities, which US-backed forces can capture under a pretext of combating terrorists.
At the same time, Syrian government forces also increased operations in the southeastern Syria desert and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have expanded efforts aimed at combating ISIS near the border with Syria.
According to Iraqi sources and some experts, the PMU is a force having the potential to come to power in Iraq after the defeat of ISIS. The PMU consists mostly of Arabs who share a regional vision similar to that of the Damascus government.
The main goal of the US and its allies is to prevent a situation where the PMU could dominate in Iraq or to build a large buffer zone between Iraq and Syria dividing potential allies.
The global elites are successively opposed to the creation of a united Arab entity in the Middle East. In this light, the US-backed militant advance “against ISIS” along the Syrian-Iraqi border is just a tool to achieve some geopolitical goals in the Middle East.