(Russia Insider) Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is advancing against the so-called “Islamic State” (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS) on all fronts — North, south, and center.
SAA’s elite Tiger Forces division rapidly advances in eastern Aleppo countryside. In the meantime, south of Palmyra a huge IS pocket has also been cleared by government forces.
But perhaps most importantly, it is clear now that Syrian Army has also begun to advance eastwards from Palmyra on the road to Deir Ez-Zor.
So far they have reached Arak oil field which puts them almost halfway from Palmyra to Sukhnah — the first big stop on the way to Deir ez-Zor.
The Russian-trained 5th Army Corps of the SAA is leading the advance, and judging by the photographs Russia Insider (RI) has been sent by a source in the field, Russian forces are involved as well — not just in the air, but on the ground as well.
A hundred thousand people have been encircled and besieged In Deir ez-Zor, first by jihadist rebels and then by IS, for over three years now.
RI has obtained exclusive photographs of an ambush in which Syrian troops spotted a retreating IS group with tanks near Arak oil field. Syrian forces were able to take out two IS tanks, after which a pair of Russian Air Force attack helicopters — an Mi-28 and an Mi-35 — arrived at the scene to deal some more damage to the fleeing IS forces.
The last photo is perhaps the most interesting of them all:
Among all those beat up vehicles is a brand new BPM-97 (Kamaz Vystrel). It’s a modern Russian mine-resistant truck which is not even particularly common in Russia, much less in Syria. Next to it are three pasty guys in matching salmon helmets – in all likelihood Russian advisors watching over their charges.
Source: Russia Insider.