In a somewhat silent ten-day offensive, ISIS fighters have gradually retaken three hill tops from rebel factions in the mountainous terrain of eastern Qalamoun.

Effectively, Jaish al-Islam and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) affiliated Ahmad al-Abdo brigade have lost control of Jabal Zubaydi, Tall Daba’a and Jabal al-Afa’i.

Rebel factions and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) are still on good terms in the eastern Qalamoun, a somewhat rare scenario in other Syrian regions still affected by more than 5 years of war.

Previously, the SAA has provided air support against ISIS in favor of Jaish al-Islam and the Ahmad al-Abdo brigade. In turn, rebel commanders have vowed not to harass nearby SAA forces.

Map credits: Agothocle deSyracuse.

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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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kit
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kit

Wait for ISIS to further clear up the area and when the rebels are gone and ISIS are depleted enough, swoop in. I don’t see why this area, so close to Eastern Ghouta, the M5 Highway and Qaryatayn, is tolerated.

Pray4Sham
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Pray4Sham

no more back stab when ISIS vs Assad

Joe Pelosi
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Joe Pelosi

Can’t defeat the Syrian army, go for the bush league.

ErikWar19
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ErikWar19

just to be clear, there is a higher probability, that SAA dont secure these mountain line, to secure continued attacks of ISIS against rebels, even while this ISIS-presence in south of palmyra make the defence of this part of syria difficult, strength the ISIS-influence in southeast-syria and is one mainreason SAA couldnt lift the Deizr-siege

Castellano
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Castellano

Yeah, SAA should take off soldiers from Aleppo and Hama where nothing happens and confront ISIS in a crucial site of desert mountains in the middle of nowhere…

John holmes
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John holmes

d**n, you’re f*****g illiterate.

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JoyMadrugada R

Maybe this rebels are the only real reamining rebels …

TROPA SOCIALISTA
Guest
TROPA SOCIALISTA

@leithfadel SAA SHOULD RELEASE,Al-Naseriyah, Jayroud, Al-Dumayr, Al-Ruhaybah, UNTIL ISIS IS CLOSER BOTH TO DAMASCUS

Shima Dwan
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Shima Dwan

Two reasons come to mind. They create an additional line of fortifications, a buffer zone for their primary lines, that can absorb future attacks, including from svbieds. This protects their stronger lines and gives more time to recover and more space to retreat. Second, as i learned from following this war, basic military doctrine says it’s better to take the fight to the enemy on your terms than to wait for them to come at you on their terms. It’ll still be a while before the cavalry shows up, so they have to do whatever they can, whenever they can.