Around 9pm Damascus time, the Islamic State launched an assault – spearheaded by a VBIED suicide driver – in an attempt to capture the al-Mahr oil and gas fields in eastern Homs from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
However, the VBIED was intercepted and blown up by elements of the SAA’s 18th Division while the Tiger Forces quickly joined up to strengthen the defences at the government controlled al-Mahr oil field.
At least 30 ISIS fighters were killed during the assault which was repelled shortly before midnight; however, jihadist fighters managed to capture the al-Mahr hill, a small high point west of the al-Mahr oil field.
Five days ago, the Islamic State seized the neighbouring al-Sha’ar oil field after gradually gaining ground in an eastern Homs offensive launched on the 1st of May.
Meanwhile, the SAA’s Major General Suheil al-Hassan is planning the final strategic manuevers for a counter-offensive in the coming days which aims to recapture the lost al-Sha’ar oil and gas fields.
For now, no significant gains have been made by the SAA towards the al-Sha’ar oil fields as their artillery troops are shelling the area prior to the offensive.
Leading this government offensive will be the Tiger Forces and Desert Hawks Brigade, assisted by the SAA’s 11th Division and 18th Division.