DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:00 A.M.) – On Tuesday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) sent one of its most elite contingents to the Palmyra frontier in a bid to dislodge ISIS from the Syrian desert and eventually link up with a besieged government garrison in Deir Ezzor.

Traveling all the way from Latakia, most of the 103rd Brigade of the Republican Guard was transferred to the Palmyra region, increasing the total number of SAA soldiers and allied paramilitary fighters stationed in eastern Homs to roughly 50,000 soldiers, a massive fighting force which outnumbers the Islamic State at least 10 to 1.

These specific Republican Guard soldiers were trained by Russian special forces back in 2014 and have gathered battle experience from fighting jihadist militants in the mountains of Latakia since then.

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More pictures of the Republican Guard’s 103rd Brigade reaching Palmyra city:

A few days ago, the SAA’s forces in Latakia were also stripped of the so-called Military Shield Forces who were deployed to eastern Hama instead.

With low priority to the largely inactive Latakia frontline, government forces appear to be going all-in to defeat ISIS across the provinces of Aleppo, Hama and Homs.

The large-scale offensive to liberate Deir Ezzor from its longstanding ISIS siege has been dubbed the ‘Great Dawn’ and requires the SAA and its allies to advance eastwards through approximately 150 kilometers of desert territory.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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