BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:48 P.M.) – Today in the early morning hours the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) supported by the NDF started a masive operation against the Islamic State (ISIS) in the eastern Hama countryside.

After the ground was prepared by non-stop airstrikes, missile and artillery shelling on the jihadist group’s positions, the units of the SAA started storming the area along the oil-pipeline south-east of Aqareb town and on a second axis entered the area south of Sheikh Hilal.

The efforts already have proven successfull since the SAA was able to make important advances in both areas.  South of Sheikh Hilal SAA captured the Shahd 8 and Shahd 9 areas. Southeast of Aqareb they gained control of all 8 high points overlooking the oil-pipeline, thereby getting a hold of the entire targeted area.

In effect the SAA has now reached the outskirts of the ISIS held towns Abu Hanaya and Abu Habilal, which still could be capture throughout the rest of the day, if the SAA forces were to further advance their operations.

According to Al-Masdar News sources the number of casualities for the SAA has been very low so far, with about 4 killed and 3 injured, while more than 20 jihadist fighters were killed.

Below are fresh pictures of the still ongoing SAA operation about 12 km east of Salamiyah and a map of the area:

 

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Student of Philosophy from Germany. Aside the daily developments in the Syrian conflict itself, mainly focused on the wider geopolitical context and the dealings of the various parties involved.

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