Some 48 hours after the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) captured the imperative city of Al-Qurayteen, the Syrian Arab Army’s 550th Brigade of the 18th Tank Division – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Al-Ba’ath Battalions – launched a counter-offensive to force the terrorist group to withdraw from this area located on the M-7 Highway.
The Syrian Armed Forces began their counter-assault on Thursday night, when they conducted an assault on ISIS’ newly fortified defensive positions at Al-Qurayteen’s western sector, resulting in the terrorist group’s withdrawal from the city’s western entrance after fierce firefights that lasted until Friday morning.
Despite their success on Friday morning, the Syrian Armed Forces were unable to recapture the city from the terrorist; however, they have entrenched themselves inside the western sector of Al-Qurayteen, where they will attempt to break-through ISIS’ defenses and reclaim the territory they lost on Wednesday night.
Besides Al-Qurayteen’s illustrious history, the city holds a strategic importance to the Syrian Armed Forces, due to its proximity to the Homs-Palmyra Highway.
Northeast of Al-Qurayteen, the Syrian Arab Army’s 67th Brigade of the 18th Tank Division continued its assault on ISIS’ positions at the town of Al-‘Abbasiyah in the southern countryside of Palmyra, killing over 15 enemy combatants and destroying three armored vehicles that were mounted with 23mm anti-aircraft machine guns.
Firefights were also reported between the Syrian Armed Forces and ISIS at the Jazal Mountains, Al-Hawareen, Jubb Al-Ahmad, Palmyra Driving School, and the Tiyas Military Airbase.