The militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) launched a fresh offensive at Farqalas in the eastern part of the Homs Governorate this morning after the latter secured the road leading to this town, resulting in the Syrian Arab Army’s 550th Artillery Brigade of the 1st Armored Division and the National Defense Forces (NDF) to withdraw to the checkpoints outside of Farqalas.
Moments ago, a military source in east Homs reported to Al-Masdar News that a loud explosion was heard outside of Farqalas, leaving many officers in the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command under the assumption that ISIS launched a suicide bombing attack on the heavily fortified checkpoint belonging to the Syrian Armed Forces at the town’s eastern outskirts.
At this time, Al-Masdar News cannot confirm what the explosion was a result of; however, the military source did verify that ISIS and the Syrian Armed Forces are clashing at the outskirts of Farqalas, where the former has currently staked their positions at the town’s eastern outskirts, while reinforcements arrive from the nearby village of Jabab Hamid located west of the ancient city of Palmyra.
To counter ISIS’ offensive at Farqalas, the Syrian Arab Army’s 18th Tank Battalion – in coordination with the SAA’s “Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra” (Desert Hawks Brigade) and the National Defense Forces – have resumed their assault on the town of Jazal, killing 11 ISIS this morning, including Hussein Ghassan Al-Yasseen, Ri’ad Shareef Al-Masri, Afif Waleed Mohammad, Bashir ‘Ammar Khaldoun, and Mahmoud Mamdouh Salameh.
In addition to the Syrian Armed Forces’ counter-assault, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) launched a multitude of airstrikes this morning, targeting ISIS’ positions at Jabal Al-Nusrani, ‘Arak, Al-Sikhanah, and Al-Salihiyah.
Update (12:43 P.M.): Explosion was due to ISIS militants destroying a gas pipeline near the town.
Update (12:44 P.M.): Ongoing clashes outside of the town.