For the first time in ten days, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) were able to retake territory in the southwestern countryside of Palmyra after fierce clashes with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) at the villages of Khanafees and Al-Baridah in the eastern part of the Homs Governorate.
Before the Syrian Armed Forces could begin a counter-assault in southwestern Palmyra, they would have to repel the militants from ISIS, who launched a powerful attack on the southeastern outskirts of the strategic Teefor Airbase; this enemy assault was thwarted by the Syrian Armed Forces after a three hour battle on Thursday morning.
Following the thwarted attack near the Teefor Airbase, the Syrian Arab Army’s 91st Brigade of the 1st Armored Division – in coordination with the National Defense Forces – launched a counter-assault on the village of Al-Baridah from their positions at Qurayteen, killing 16 enemy combatants from ISIS and destroying two of their armored vehicles mounted with doshkas.
With the Syrian Armed Forces expanding their frontline to Al-Baridah, the National Defense Forces launched their own assault on the village of Khanafees, where they stormed the southern perimeter of the nearby mine-field; however, ISIS was able to repel the assault before nightfall on Thursday night.
In addition to their advance in the southwestern Palmyra countryside, the SAA’s “Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra” (Desert Hawks Brigade) continued their offensive at Jazal, where they staked their positions in the northern part of town after intense firefights with the enemy combatants from ISIS; this battle is the Central Command’s primary focus in eastern Homs, as the town of Jazal is the path to the ancient city of Palmyra.
Firefights were also reported between the Syrian Armed Forces and ISIS at the villages of Al-Salihiyah, Al-Shamiliyah, Jubb Al-Jarrah, and the Al-Qalibiyah in eastern Homs.