BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:27 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), backed up by paramilitary allies, has achieved a noteworthy advance against ISIS in eastern Hama Governorate. The assault comes as massive reinforcements from the SAA’s elite Tiger Forces pour into the region.

Today the SAA, led by the veteran Qalamoun Shield Forces, advanced towards ISIS-held town of Salba located east of al-Mabujah, securing the important hills and points that overlook the settlement.

The advance was achieved after heavy clashes with ISIS that began early this morning and concluded in the afternoon.

According to military sources exclusive to Al-Masdar News, at least 20 ISIS fighters were killed and injured during the pro-government assault. Furthermore, one ISIS vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) was destroyed by the SAA before it reached forward army positions.

Now the SAA has full fire control over the town of Salba and is expected to storm the settlement soon.

Meanwhile, Tiger Forces reinforcements keep pouring into eastern Hama as part of a wider effort to develop the offensive against ISIS in the region. According to reports, a total of three (3) Tiger Forces groups have arrived in eastern Hama and are awaiting their orders, yet to see combat.

Once the orders are given for the Tiger Forces to attack, and thus the main phase of the offensive started, the speed of pro-government advances in eastern Hama should accelerate. From this point on, top Tiger Forces commander Suheil al-Hassan will reportedly lead the offensive.

Click here to see an interactive map of Syria and Iraq.

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Andrew Illingworth | AMN
Andrew Illingworth | AMN
Andrew Illingworth | AMN
Andrew Illingworth | AMN
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