BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:15 A.M.) – The elite Desert Hawks Brigade (Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra) have recently deployed to the eastern countryside of the Hama Governorate after taking a long hiatus following the battle of Aleppo.

Their deployment to the Hama Governorate’s eastern countryside comes just weeks after the Syrian Arab Army’s Tiger Forces resumed their offensive operations along the Aleppo-Raqqa axis.

While the battle for western Raqqa is no cake walk, the upcoming battle for the eastern countryside of the Salamiyah District might prove to be one of the most intense battles to take place across Syria.

The reason for its increased intensity is due to the fact that the Islamic State’s central Syria stronghold, ‘Uqayrbat, is at stake.

Not only is ‘Uqayrbat strategically located along the Islamic State’s imperative supply route in central Syria, it is also the key to the entire eastern countryside of the Salamiyah District.

Should ISIL lose control of ‘Uqayrbat, they will find themselves mass retreating across central Syria, leaving large chunks of territory for the Syrian Army to retake.

In the coming weeks, the Desert Hawks – alongside the National Defense Forces (NDF), 11th Tank Division, and Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) – are expected to begin this long-awaited offensive to retake eastern Salamiyah and expel the Islamic State forces from central Syria once and for all.

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