DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) officially reentered Raqqa province on Tuesday morning after liberating six villages on the provincial border with Aleppo.

Led by the Tiger Forces and Al-Baqir tribal fighters, the SAA was able to impose full control over the villages of Biir Sab, Al-Tarqawi, Al-Salihyah, Anz Bo Kardi, Khirbet Muhssen and Khirbet Hassan.

With dozens of T-72 and BMP-1 armored vehicles pushing south of the Maskanah Plains along Lake Assad, the SAA hopes to link up with the non-hostile Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Tabqa region.

Today’s advance will likely prompt ISIS commanders to abandon the Khanaser axis where a strong jihadist defensive line has been in place since 2014, regularly raiding the SAA’s Aleppo supply line.

With the Islamic State virtually expulsed from Aleppo province, the SAA and SDF are expected to race to Raqqa in a bid to defeat the hardline group inside its own capital.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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coyotl
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coyotl

Participation in a race to Raqqa is insane when IS is driven towards Deir ez Zour which is in danger of collapsing as IS moves there, some claim as a result of a deal SDF – IS of withdrawal south.

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Deo Cass

“Non-hostile Syrian Democratic Forces!” I beg to strongly disagree. From last week both the US proxies of SDF and FSA have made it clear that their prime target is now officially the “Syrian regime forces and their Shia Iraqi allies” with the objective of preventing Syrian forces from linking with their own sovereign territories surrounded by the US proxies of the SDF in North Easteen Syria and to prevent the Syrian Army from liberating its Syrian Iraqi border.

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Deo Cass

The Syrian Arab Army should immediately advance from further South, on the Aleppo-Raqqa highway and once cleared bypass the US proxies of the SDF by taking the secondary road leading directly to Raqqa from the South. In this way the encirclement of ISIS would be complete, preventing the US from continuing to redeploy ISIS terror squads from Raqqa to Deir Ezzur and storming the ISIS occupied Syrian Arab city from the South.