After weeks of demining activities in the largely uninhabited desert of eastern Homs, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) finally stormed the ISIS-held Jazal Oil Field northwest of Palmyra.

Following the second liberation of Palmyra, the SAA shifted its attention to this oil-rich site on Sunday evening and captured all hills south of the Jazal Oil Field, thus establishing fire control over the facility and its wells, effectively rendering the oil field indefensible.

Subsequently, ISIS fighters abandoned the Jazal Oil Field and regrouped near the adjacent Mazrur Oil Field and the mountain of Jabal al-Jazal. Unfortunately for the advancing government troops, jihadist militants set the Jazal wells on fire prior to abandoning the area and scattered mines (IED’s disguised as rocks) across the facility.

With fire control completely secured, the SAA has now called in engineering teams to clear the Jazar Oil Field prior to capturing it in a bid to reduce casualties.

The advance was spearheaded by elements of the 18th Tank Division and newly formed 5th Legion although multiple contingents were involved. Meanwhile, Russian warplanes repeatedly attacked ISIS’ forces during their withdrawal from the Jazar Oil Field.

The SAA has now almost fully restored the pre-December 2016 frontline which buckled due to a massive ISIS offensive on the ancient city of Palmyra.

Picture of the site from the SAA’s point of view:

Chris Tomson | AMN

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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2017-03-06 09:19

It’s not enough. All oil fields in the area surrounding Palmyra must be liberated. Daesh must not have any access to any more oil. Enough is enough.