The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defense Forces (NDF) have continued their successful counter-offensive in the Al-Hasakah Governorate after capturing 7 villages located east of the provincial capital. The villages of Ma’assoum, Qaraat, Al-Hanish, Al-‘Aweena, Ma’arouf, Al-Taba, and Nisaraat were declared under Syrian State Government control as of 10:30 A.M. Damascus Time.
According to a military source, at least 40 ISIS militants were killed and almost 2 dozen were wounded during the battle. Among the dead ISIS fighters was their field commander, Mohammad Noureddeen Al-Shamass (AKA “Abu Mou’az Al-Halabi”), who was killed at Al-Hanish during the SAA’s capture of the village.
The SAA has quietly gained ground in the Al-Hasakah Governorate, capturing village after village on the southern, western, and eastern fronts of the province. The goal of this offensive is to reestablish control of the major roads leading to and from the Deir Ezzor Governorate, while also cutting off ISIS militants from their vital supply routes in Ar-Raqqa.
The SAA is currently 20km east of the Ar-Raqqa border and if they continue their progression west; it is likely that their eventual offensive in the Ar-Raqqa Governorate will come from the Al-Hasakah countryside. In the meantime, the SAA is capitalizing on ISIS’ poor fortifications around the deserts of Al-Hasakah due to their concentration on the Deir Ezzor front.