On Saturday evening in the Hama-Raqqa countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s 555th Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division – in close coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF), Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade), Fouj Al-Joulan (Golani Regiment), and the pro-government Palestinian militia “Liwaa Al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigade) – imposed full control over another hilltop near the Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway after a violent battle with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in the Ithriyah countryside.

According to a military source from the 555th Brigade, the Syrian Armed Forces captured the small hilltop of Tal Masbah, which is located just 15 km northeast of Ithriyah in the Hama Governorate; it was one of the last ISIS strongholds along the Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway.

The military source added that the ISIS militants entrenched at Tal Masbah fled northeast of the aforementioned hilltop towards the small desert village of Jubb Al-Qutna on the Raqqa-Hama border; this area is predominately contested between the government and the terrorist group.

In addition to advancing north of the Salamiyah-Raqqa Road, the Syrian Armed Forces continued their powerful assault on the ISIS terrorists near the strategic village of Zakiyah on the border of the Al-Raqqa Governorate.

Yesterday, the Syrian Armed Forces were able to establish full control over the Zakiyah crossroad, blocking ISIS’ primary supply route from Al-Raqqa to the east Hama countryside.

The Syrian Armed Forces are attempting to seize the imperative Tabaqa Military Airport in southwestern Al-Raqqa; it was captured by ISIS in August of 2014.

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