On Thursday, pro-government forces, led by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces liberated the villages of Al-Bouajouz, Khirbat Al-Khazraf, the fourth farms and the Faryya village near the ISIS-held town of Maskanah. By this, the SAA has isolated the ISIS stronghold from the northern and western flanks.
— Ivan Sidorenko (@IvanSidorenko1) May 24, 2017
The Russian and Syrian air force fighter jets continued bombing ISIS positions in the town of Maskanah and east of it. The SAA will likely not storm Maskanah, which has been fortified by ISIS. Instead, the SAA will continue its advance west and south of it to force ISIS militants to fight in unfortified areas and eliminate them, as the SAA did in Deir Hafer.
Maskana town is considered the last major town in the eastern Aleppo countryside. Capturing it, the Syrian forces would be on the borders of Raqqa province, and ISIS would lost all of its position in Aleppo province.
Yesterday, ISIS fighters were reportedly able to destroy an SAA Shilka vehicle and two 23-mm guns with ATGM south of the Jirrah military airport.
The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq also published photos of ISIS militants attacking the SAA in the eastern Aleppo countryside. A locally upgraded T-72 tank (similar to the Iraqi T-55 Enigma) could be noted on them.