It has been a rocky two months for the Syrian Armed Forces in the eastern countryside of the Homs Governorate, as the disheartening loss at the ancient city of Palmyra, followed by the abrupt loss of their final border-crossing into Iraq from Al-Tanif has dissipated the morale of the soldiers entrenched on this desert front.

Furthering their progress in east Homs, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) attacked the Syrian Armed Forces at the Jazal Gas Fields from their positions at the nearby town of Jazal, resulting in the withdrawal of all Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defense Forces (NDF) soldiers from the latter after a series of intense firefights that engulfed most of the morning on Tuesday.

Following their retreat to the southern outskirts of the Al-Sha’ar Mountains, the Syrian Arab Army’s 67th Brigade of the 18th Tank Division – in coordination with the National Defense Forces and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Hawks Brigade) – launched a counter-assault at the town of Jazal and the Jazal Gas Field, killing over 25 enemy combatants from ISIS, while also seizing a small cache of weapons in the process.

Not long after the Syrian Armed Forces reentered Jazal and the Jazal Gas Field, the militants from ISIS were forced to withdrawal after their fractured frontline positions collapsed; this led to the Syrian Armed Forces taking full control of the town and gas field, along with surrounding oil wells that are no longer functional.

If the Syrian Armed Forces were to launch a counter-offensive into the ancient city of Palmyra, the town of Jazal will likely be the location they use; however, there are currently no plans to retake this city at the moment.

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

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