BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:15 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), led by the Desert Hawks paramilitary group and further supported by the National Defence Forces (NDF) and Palestinian Liwa al-Quds Brigade, advanced this morning against ISIS in the countryside of eastern Hama.
Pro-government forces succeeded in liberating the villages of Um Tuwaynah, al-Hardaneh and al-Qatshiyah, which are located directly south of the Salamiyah-Ethriyah Highway and northeast of the village of Mabujah.
In liberating these three aforementioned villages, the SAA and its allies secured most of the highway linking Salamiyah to Ethriyah from ISIS. Prior to the advance, it had been the case that the terrorist group was able to launching raiding attacks on the road and fire mortars and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) at vehicles which passed along it.
This most recent set of gains by pro-government forces today now puts them in a position to strike further south towards the village of Salbah and then on to the strategic town of Aqriybat.
It has been around two weeks now since pro-government forces, spearheaded by key formations such as the Desert Hawks Brigade and 5th Assault Corps, began their offensive to liquidate the ISIS bastion in east Hama, the terrorist group’s final stronghold in central Syria.
Whilst no breakthrough-style advance has been made yet, pro-government forces continue to make modest gains, chipping away at the daunting, intertwined network of defenses set before them by the terrorist group.