The Syrian Arab Army’s 555th Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division has been steadily advancing in the Hama-Raqqa countryside, capturing several hilltops and villages from the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) along the Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway.

With ISIS’ defenses quickly crumbling near the desert-city of Ithriyah, the Syrian Armed Forces have taken the opportunity to make an important push east towards the Tabaqa Military Airport in the Al-Raqqa Governorate’s southwestern countryside; this aforementioned base was captured by the terrorist group in August 2014.

On Wednesday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 555th Brigade – backed by Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), Fouj Al-Joulan (Golani Regiment), the National Defense Forces (NDF), and the pro-government Palestinian militia “Liwaa Al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigade) – advanced east along the Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway, capturing several small hilltops en route to the strategic village of Marina in the Al-Raqqa countryside.

According to a source from Liwaa Al-Quds, the Syrian Armed Forces are currently positioned 5 km west of Marina and they are quickly closing on this village, thanks in large part to their advanced weaponry and armor (specifically their T-90 tanks).

In addition to their advance along the Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway, the Syrian Armed Forces also continued their assault on the imperative desert village of Zakiyah, where they are currently in control of the Zakiyah crossroad.

South of Ithriyah, the Syrian Armed Forces captured the hills of Jibab Marayta after a violent battle with ISIS on Wednesday morning; this site is located 40 km west of ISIS’ primary oil transport route.

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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