Starting at noon today, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) continued its operations against ISIS in western Raqqa following up on a string of advances in the past week.
With heavy clashes ongoing, the SAA is pushing towards the Rasafeh crossroad after capturing the village of Bur Ambaj yesterday.
Moments ago, a field correspondent revealed to al-Masdar that the SAA had liberated Khirbat-Zaydān; the latter village is located directly east of Bur Ambaj.
The source also said government troops – spearheaded by brand new T-90 tanks – had cleared upwards of 10 kilometers formerly ISIS-held territory in the past 24 hours alone.
Effectively, the SAA has advanced approximately 45 kilometers since beginning the offensive less than one week ago.
Remarkably, government troops are now only 30 kilometers from Tabqa Airbase; this air field is symbolic for the Syrian military as hundreds of government soldiers were executed by ISIS in August 2014 shortly after the Islamic State captured the airbase.
The current Raqqa offensive is spearheaded by the SAA’s Desert Hawks and elements of the SAA’s 4th mechanized division. However, several other elements of the SAA are also involved, including the National Defense Forces (NDF), Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), Syrian Marines, Galilee Forces (Palestinian paramilitary), and Arab National Guard.
Russian special forces have also been seen on the ground among the SAA troops.