BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:20 P.M.) – Units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Liwa al-Quds (pro-government Palestinian paramilitary group) and the National Defence Forces (NDF) operating directly to the east of Salamiyah city have opened up a new front against besieged ISIS militants in eastern Hama Governorate who are currently in the midst of a desperate operation to break-out towards rebel-held territory in Idlib (further north).

Moments ago reports came in that the SAA and allied paramilitaries secured two fortified zones from ISIS terrorists east of Salamiyah city – the areas are known as Point 7 and Point 9. There are claims that the Syrian flag has been raised above Point 7 but no photo or video evidence of this has yet emerged.

These latest advances are clearly part of a pro-government counteroffensive in the region aimed, at the very least, at stalling ISIS attacks on Sheikh Hilal.

In the process of taking these aforementioned points, SAA troops uncovered a number of mines and improvised explosive devices (IED) planted by ISIS which are disguised as rocks.

Click here to see an interactive map of Syria and Iraq.

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