BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – The Russian and Syrian armies sent a convoy of reinforcements to the Raqqa-Hama administrative border this week, following a string of attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) terrorist organization near the historical Al-Rusafa area.
According to a field source with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the reinforcements came shortly after the Islamic State launched two attacks in the Al-Rusafa area and Al-Salamiyah District of Hama.
While the Al-Rusafa attack was repelled by the Syrian Army, the Islamic State’s ambush near Al-Salamiyah resulted in a number of soldiers killed.
Since late July, the Islamic State has attempted to expand its attack base from the Badiya Al-Sham region between Al-Sweida, Homs, and Deir Ezzor to the Al-Raqqa and Hama governorates.
This has prompted both the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces (NDF) to increase their presence in Al-Salamiyah and Al-Rusafa.
However, given the rugged terrain between Hama and Al-Raqqa, the Islamic State has managed to evade capture and disappear after launching attacks against the SAA and NDF.
A source from the SAA told Al-Masdar that the army will need to launch a wide-scale operation across central Syria that will require them to thoroughly comb through the large number of caves used by the Islamic State in order to secure this vast desert region.