One week after the Syrian Arab Army’s 120th Brigade of the 2nd Division began operations to capture the strategic desert-city of Quraytayn in the Homs Governorate’s southeastern countryside, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has launched their own counter-assault to clear the mountains overlooking western flank.
According to a local correspondent in the Homs Governorate, ISIS struck the Syrian Arab Arab’s 1st line of defense in Jabal Quraytayn, seizing a number of hilltops along the Maheen-Quraytayn Road.
The local correspondent further added that ISIS is attempting to recapture the Maheen-Quraytayn checkpoint and its surrounding hills that are located at the halfway point between the ancient Assyrian city of Quraytayn and the nearby town of Maheen.
If ISIS does recapture the Maheen-Quraytayn checkpoint, they will be able to strike the town of Maheen, which is located less than a kilometer away from the city of Quraytayn.
Regardless if ISIS recaptures the Maheen-Quraytayn checkpoint, there still remains a large pro-government presence in the Mahsaa Mountains in southern Quraytayn; this is where the most intense firefights are currently taking place in southeast Homs.
In the coming days, the battle for southeastern Homs will become even more important, as the Syrian Arab Army’s 63rd Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division and Hezbollah push east from the Qalamoun Mountains towards this province.