On Tuesday morning, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) continued their large-scale offensive in the eastern part of the Homs Governorate, attacking a number of villages under the control of the Syrian Arab Army’s 91st Regiment and the National Defense Forces (NDF) near the southern Hama Governorate city of Al-Salamiyah.
ISIS began their assault at 7:30 A.M. (Damascus Time) on Tuesday morning by firing a barrage of mortar shells in the direction of the SAA’s 91st Regiment at the town of Farqalas; this was followed by the terrorist group storming the Syrian Armed Forces frontline defenses at the eastern outskirts of the town before they were repelled and forced to withdrawal towards the village of Jabab Hamid.
Following their withdrawal from the Farqalas outskirts, another ISIS contingent launched an assault on the villages of Al-Safeera and Al-Salihiyah, where they attempted to breach the National Defense Forces fortifications; however, the latter was given a boost from the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF), who carried out a number of airstrikes that targeted the road from Al-Salamiyah to northern Homs.
Despite the Syrian Armed Forces success in repelling a number of ISIS attacks near the border of Hama, ISIS did capture the village of Al-Muqassem after fierce clashes with the former in the vicinity of the ancient city of Palmyra; this has expanded ISIS’ buffer-zone to 3km from the western outskirts of Palmyra.
With ISIS in control of Al-Muqassem, the Syrian Arab Army’s 550th Brigade launched a counter-assault at the Asphalt Factory near the city of Palmyra, killing 19 enemy combatants and destroying six armored vehicles before they were able to capture the western perimeter of this facility in the desert.