It took almost two weeks for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their allies to clear the imperative Khanasser-Ithriya Highway that leads to the provincial capital of the Aleppo Governorate; however, they were finally able to secure the remaining territory along the roadway that was under the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).
On Wednesday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 66th Brigade of the 11th Tank Division – in coordination with Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces of Al-Salamiyah, and the Palestinian pro-government militia “Liwaa Al-Quds” (Jerusalem Brigade) – broke-through ISIS’ remaining frontlines at the small villages to the north of Ithriya, resulting in a massive retreat of the terrorist group’s combatants to the Al-Raqqa Governorate town of Tabaqa.
However, this was no easy retreat for the terrorist group because as they were attempting to retreat along the Salamiyah-Raqqa Highway, they came under attack from the Russian Air Force’s SU-24 fighter jets, who were circling their infantry units trying to flee to safety.
The liberation of the Khanasser-Ithriya Highway was of the utmost importance for the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command these last few days, as the roadway is the only supply route the Syrian Armed Forces can use to continue their fight against the Islamist rebels and ISIS in the Aleppo Governorate.
For ISIS, the loss of this highway ends their brief east Hama offensive that cost them over 200 combatants and the destruction of their heavy weaponry.