DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:30 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah (Lebanese paramilitary) have finally begun their long-awaited offensive along the M7-highway, targeting the ISIS-held oil and gas fields around Arak in eastern Homs.

With heavy clashes unfolding as we speak, Amaq Agency published a series of images from the region which has been extensively fortified by the Islamic State in anticipation of the government offensive that ultimately looks to liberate Deir Ezzor city in the far east:

Chris Tomson | AMN
Chris Tomson | AMN
Chris Tomson | AMN
Chris Tomson | AMN
Chris Tomson | AMN
Chris Tomson | AMN

Chris Tomson | AMN

The photos showed ISIS militants monitoring and firing at SAA forward positions while a Hezbollah flag was also clearly visible peaking above a trench.

With the first SAA advances already concluded, pro-government forces have initiated a major pincer offensive that initially looks to encircle the long-standing ISIS bastion of Arak.

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