Earlier this morning in the western countryside of Palmyra, the Syrian Arab Army’s 67th Brigade of the 18th Tank Brigade – in coordination with Hezbollah, Liwaa Imam ‘Ali (Iraqi paramilitary), and the National Defense Forces (NDF) of Homs City and Wadi Al-Nasara – have imposed full control over the strategic Palmyra-Homs Highway after intense clashes with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).

According to a battlefield journalist embedded with the Syrian Arab Army’s 67th Brigade, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies imposed full control over the Palmyra-Homs Highway after seizing the villages of Al-Bayarat and Marhatten in the western countryside of the ancient city of Palmyra over this past weekend.

With Al-Bayarat, Marhatten, and the Palmyra-Homs Highway under their control, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies are now positioned 4km away from the western walls of Palmyra; this is the closest the pro-government forces have been to the gates of this ancient city since their failed offensive in July.

Unfortunately for the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies, the route to the western gates of Palmyra will not be easy, as the Qassoun Mountains (Jabal Qassoun) are deeply entrenched with ISIS combatants that are overlooking the entire western countryside of the city.

Last time the SAA attempted to seize the Qassoun Mountains, they were forced to withdraw from this area after suffering two dozen casualties.

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

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