Earlier today, the Syrian Arab Army’s 66th Brigade of the 11th Tank Division – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF), Hezbollah, and the Palestinian pro-government militia “Liwaa Al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigade) – continued their advance along the strategic Khanasser-Ithriya Highway in the Hama Governorate’s eastern countryside, capturing several sites from the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) that are imperative to reopening the roadway.
According to a military source from the National Defense Forces in Al-Salamiyah, the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance stormed ISIS’ defensive positions at the Ithriya Petrol Station that is located northeast of the town, killing several enemy combatants from the terrorist group and destroying three armored vehicles that were mounted with 23mm anti-aircraft machine guns.
Following a series of intense firefights that spread into the early afternoon, the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance were able to impose full control over the Ithriya Petrol Station and the surrounding field mounds after the ISIS combatants withdrew to a small village to the north of this site in the northern Hama countryside.
In the last 72 hours, the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance have been able to reclaim several kilometers of territory from the ISIS combatants that obstructed the Khanasser-Ithriya Highway; however, despite this successful operation in northeast Hama, the pro-government forces still have a little less than 1km of highway left to go before they can declare its liberation.
The Khanasser-Ithriya Highway is the only supply route to the provincial capital of the Aleppo Governorate that the Syrian Armed Forces control; without, they are forced to resupply the city via their air force.