DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:20 P.M.) – On Saturday morning, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) secured a massive advance in southeastern Aleppo and managed to liberate an astonishing 11 villages from the Islamic State.
Pushing rapidly southwards along the eastern bank of the Jabbul salt lake, the SAA’s Tiger Forces – alongside Sunni fighters of the Al-Baqir tribe – took full control over the villages of Mawaleh Saghira, Mawaleh Kabir, Mustariha, Batushiya, Ramadaniya, Taousat, Khirbat Thib, Khirbat Hassoun, Shiha, Eiss, and Wadi Mawaleh.
Effectively, Suheil Al-Hassan’s seasoned assault troops are on the verge of linking up with government forces stationed on the road between Khanasser and Aleppo. The SAA will now explore military plans aimed at widening the vulnerable Aleppo supply line, a highway frequently attacked by ISIS on its eastern flank and Al-Qaeda on its western flank.
Meanwhile, operations are underway to encircle the Islamic State stronghold of Maskanah through pincer manuevers around Lake Assad. Long-term, the Tiger Forces also hope to push into Raqqa province and possible join the battle for Raqqa itself.