On Wednesday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 66th Brigade of the 11th Tank Division – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Al-Salamiyah and the Palestinian pro-government militia “Liwaa Al-Quds” – launched another counter-assault to recapture the territory lost to the Islamic State or Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) over the weekend.
Unfortunately for the Syrian Armed Forces, this was not an easy task on Wednesday, as they found themselves delivering a powerful blow to the ISIS terrorists in the area, only to have their progression slowed down by the several IEDs (improvised explosive device) planted along the many roads that feed into the strategic Khanasser-Ithriya Highway of east Hama.
The biggest achievement made by the Syrian Arab Army and their allies on Wednesday was the successful recapture of the Ithriya-Salamiyah Road that was obstructed by the terrorist group for several hours before the pro-government forces were able to reclaim the points lost to ISIS.
In addition to their success along the Ithriyah-Salamiyah Road, the Syrian Armed Forces were able to recapture the points lost to the ISIS combatants on the roads leading to towns of Al-Sa’an, and Sheikh Hilal; this gave the pro-government forces breathing room as they prepared for the massive assault on the Khanasser-Ithriya Highway.
The Syrian Armed Forces began their assault on ISIS’ positions along the Khanasser-Ithriya Highway after the Russian Air Force conducted several airstrikes in order to weaken the terrorist group’s defenses.
While the assault has begun to recapture the Khanasser-Ithriyah Highway, the Syrian Armed Forces have yet to recapture the main axes control by ISIS; this is expected to be the focus of Thursday battle in east Hama.