According to Al-Masdar News intel, several elements of the Syrian Arab Army’s 11th Division and 18th Division have been redeployed to the outskirts of Qaryatayn city after their successful liberation of the famed Palmyra city yesterday evening.
Additionally, Syrian volunteers from the National Defence Forces (NDF) of Sadad and Mahin have also joined forces with government troops on the perimeter of Qaryatayn.
This comes as dozens of airstrikes are currently striking the city while artillery units are simultaneously bombarding ISIS fighters stationed there.
With hundreds of soldiers arriving at Qaryatayn, this military build-up hints at a major government offensive to happen imminently on ISIS defenders inside the city.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Navy Marines and Desert Hawks Brigade have also been ordered to pull out of Palmyra by the Syrian High Command. These units will now return to their previous duties inside the Lattakian governorate and continue their operations with the long-term goal of capturing Jisr al-Shigbour city from Islamist rebels in Idlib.
In total, prior to today’s redeployments, over 6.000 government soldiers were deployed at the Palmyra frontline.
While the Syrian Arab Army has captured all high-points surrounding the city of Qaryatayn (confirmed), other reports indicate that ISIS has been left a small strategic line of retreat. If Islamic State commanders opt for the full withdrawal option, this would in turn avoid civilian casualties in the densely populated city of Qaryatayn.
However, if local ISIS commanders concede Qaryatayn city to government forces, this would serve as a huge blow to the moral of ISIS fighters who have witnessed the Islamic State caliphate gradually deteriorate over the past 6 months, largely due to Russian airstrikes.