The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has been relentless in the eastern countryside of the Homs Governorate, as they have waged offensive after offensive to capture this vast desert terrain located in the heart of central Syria.
On Saturday morning, the Syrian Arab Army – backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF), and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) – launched an assault on ISIS’ positions at the western outskirts of the ancient Syriac Christian city of Al-Qurayteen; this city was captured by the terrorist group in early August.
According to field reports, the Syrian Armed Forces are attempting to reestablish control over the western checkpoint that sits on the outskirts of Al-Qurayteen in order to prevent an ISIS advance to the imperative Christian city of Sadad.
This area in east Homs is crucial for the Syrian Armed Forces control; if they are unable to maintain their group, ISIS will have access to both the provincial capital of Homs and the Qalamoun Mountains that border east Lebanon.
In addition to the assault near Al-Qurayteen, the Syrian Armed Forces continue to apply pressure on the terrorist group at the ancient city of Palmyra, as they have recently advanced at the eastern perimeter of the Ancient Palmyra Quarries that sit north of the Al-‘Amariyah Village.
While the capture of Palmyra would definitely be a morale boost for the embattled Syrian Armed Force, the city of Al-Qurayteen is far more strategic due to its proximity to the provincial capital and the major highways that lead to a number of imperative sites.