The Syrian Armed Forces have made significant progress in the southeastern countryside of the Homs Governorate after a long week of battling the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) around the cities of Quraytayn and Maheen.
On Thursday afternoon, the Syrian Arab Army’s 120th Brigade of the 2nd Brigade – backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF), Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), Dara’ Qalamoun (Qalamoun Shield), and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) – imposed full control over the villages of Mahatin and Al-Mukasar near Jabal Al-Mahsaa after a violent battle with ISIS in the Quraytayn countryside.
With the capture of Mahatin and Al-Mukasar on Thursday, the Syrian Armed Forces are now just 10 km south of Quraytayn’s southern perimeter, marking the first time since of August 2015 that there has been any government presence this close to the city’s walls.
However, before the Syrian Armed Forces can attack the city walls, they will have to seize the remaining hilltops at Jabal Al-Mahsaa; once, this is accomplished, they will possess the high-ground to strike Quraytayn.
The city of Quraytayn was captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham in early August 2015 when they launched a large-scale offensive in southeastern Homs to capture the Tanf border-crossing into the Al-‘Anbar Governorate of Iraq.