BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:00 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah continued their advance in the Palmyra countryside on Tuesday, striking the Islamic State (ISIL) forces near the Al-Abtar Mountains.

Led by the Russian-trained 5th Legion, the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah stormed the remaining points under the Islamic State’s control south of the Al-Abtar Mountains, liberating several sites en route to their advance to the Sawwanah Junction.

According to some local activists, the Syrian Arab Army and Hezbollah have liberated the Sawwanah Junction and pushing towards the Khunayfis Phosphate Mines; however, Al-Masdar cannot confirm this report at the moment.

Liberating the Sawwanah Junction would be a major step in securing Palmyra’s southern flank, as the Islamic State’s large presence in this mountainous region has plagued the Syrian Arab Army in the past.

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