BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:25 A.M.) – With the Turkish-Russian sponsored ceasefire mostly holding around the country, defeating the Islamic State (ISIS) has taken priority for most of the parties involved in this war.
In northern Syria, the Turkish Army is attempting to capture the strategic city of Al-Bab in east Aleppo, while their Kurdish adversaries march their way through much of western Al-Raqqa.
Despite limited success, the Turkish Army’s offensive in Al-Bab has kept the Islamic State quite busy in east Aleppo, forcing them to dedicate many reserves to this front in order to avoid conceding it to the opposition forces.
Southeast of Al-Bab, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have made remarkable progress in the Tabaqa area of western Raqqa, liberating several sites from the terrorist forces en route to their first approach to the Tabaqa Dam.
In the coming days, the Syrian Arab Army is expected to join the war against the Islamic State in east Aleppo, as they make their final preparations for their offensive in the Deir Hafer Plains and Al-Bab Plateau.
The Damascus countryside has been the scene of the most intense clashes between the government and opposition forces, making this front a hotbed of violence and instability.
Unlike the other provinces around Syria, the government and opposition forces are fighting one another at several axes, including the East Ghouta region and Wadi Barada area.
Wadi Barada has arguably seen the biggest battlefield changes in rural Damascus this month, as the Syrian Arab Army’s 42nd Brigade continues to pressure the jihadist rebels of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly Al-Nusra Front) to give up the area.
On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army seized almost all of Bassima village; this resulted in a frantic retreat for the jihadist rebels to the central part of the Wadi Barada pocket.
Meanwhile, in the East Ghouta, the Syrian Arab Army is on the verge of capturing the town of Hazrama after more than 10 days of nonstop fighting with the Islamist rebels of Jaysh Al-Islam and Faylaq Al-Rahman.
Northeast of the capital city, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is attempting to expel the remaining Islamic State terrorists occupying the eastern slopes of the Qalamoun Mountains; this has been relatively success, with the rebel forces capturing large chunks of territory from the militants.
Syrian Desert Front:
The eastern part of Syria has been immersed in violent clashes since the new year, as both the Syrian Arab Army and Islamic State trade small offensives in western Palmyra and Deir Ezzor.
ISIS’ large-scale offensive to capture the T-4 Military Airport was officially repelled by the Syrian Arab Army’s 800th Battalion of the Republican Guard after more than two weeks of battle.
The successful defense of the T-4 Military Airport has allowed the Syrian Arab Army to begin a cleansing operation around this installation.
In response to the Syrian Army’s intense shelling and Russian Air Force’s relentless airstrikes, the Islamic State terrorists destroyed the most important source of gas to millions of Syrians: Hayyan Gas Company factory.
East of Palmyra, the Islamic State has been mobilizing a large force in the Deir Ezzor Governorate for quite some time, as they near the start date of their planned offensive against the Syrian Arab Army.
Sporadic clashes have been recorded in Deir Ezzor this year; however, the major battle has not yet started.