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.