DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:30 P.M.) – Following the astonishing capture of 11 villages in the morning hours, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) proceeded to overrun new sites with ISIS unable to establish a new defensive line due to the sheer pace of government advances.
Led by the Tiger Forces, the SAA also managed to impose full control over the Sukariyah cattle farm, Al-Qari and Al-Bandouqa, bringing them within 1500 meters of Maskanah city’s western gates. Maskanah represents ISIS’ last bastion in Aleppo governorate and the main obstacle preventing Suheil Al-Hassan’s troops from entering neighboring Raqqa province.
After expelling ISIS from its last stretch of territory along the Jabbul Lake for the first time since 2014, the Tiger Forces were able to link up with SAA forces on the Aleppo supply line across a narrow part of the salt lake in a major symbolic victory.
Sunni fighters of the Al-Baqir tribe assisted the advance alongside elements of the 5th Legion, recently redeployed from counter-insurgency operations in eastern Homs.
The Russian Air Force conducted dozens of sorties against ISIS fighters in the Maskanah Plains, providing ISIS insurgents little respite and clearing the way for the blitz offensive.
A large version of the above map can be found here.