The Syrian Armed Forces were filled with optimism this past weekend after they seized the Thawrah Oil Fields near the strategic Tabaqa Military Airport in west Raqqa.
However, this jubilant feeling would not last long, thanks in large part to the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham’s (ISIS) major counter-offensive along the Sukhanah-Tabaqa Road.
Not only did ISIS recapture the Thawrah Oil Fields, but they also fought their way to the Sufiyah Oil Fields that overlook the Rusafeh Crossroad.
While, this initially appeared to be a small setback for the Syrian Armed Forces; it would turn disastrous on Monday after the Desert Hawks and Syrian Marines withdrew from the village of Albu Allaj and Rusafeh Crossroad.
Unbeknownst to the Syrian Arab Army at the Rusafeh Crossroad, they were about to lose their second and third lines of defense.
ISIS ultimately overran the Syrian Arab Army’s positions at Rusafeh, resulting in a disorganized retreat that left behind weapons and several soldiers.
According to a military source, 23 soldiers have been confirmed “killed-in-action” (KIA); 49 soldiers were wounded; and dozens of others are currently “missing-in-action” (MIA).
The soldiers that considered MIA are believed to be either dead, captured, or trapped behind enemy lines.
On Tuesday, the Syrian Armed Forces remained idle at the Zakiyah Crossroad in west Raqqa.
Currently, all of the Syrian Armed Forces involved in this offensive have been ordered to remain on standby – no plans to continue this assault have been communicated to Al-Masdar News.