DAMASCUS, SYRIA (7:30 P.M.) – After expelling ISIS insurgents from Deir Hafer, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) proceeded to liberate two more villages in the eastern Aleppo countryside on Saturday afternoon.
Advancing from two directions, the SAA’s Tiger Forces – supported by local Al-Baqir tribal fighters – managed to impose full control over Umm Tinah and Rasm Al-Falh after ISIS militants withdrew from the aforementioned villages following brief skirmishes.
Despite reports to the contrary, large parts of Deir Hafer (Dyr Hafer) remains off limits to the SAA due to booby traps and mines littering the former ISIS stronghold.
According to Al-Masdar News field correspondent Ibrahim Joudeh, ISIS has left behind improvised explosives in almost every building and street of Deir Hafer.
Booby traps have taken a deadly toll on the Tiger Forces, accounting for approximately 90% of their casualties during the eastern Aleppo offensive, the military source added.
Luckily for the Islamic State, the SAA has transferred most of its Tiger Forces contingents to northern Hama to reverse gains achieved by Islamist rebels over the past week.
The SAA has seized over 200 east Aleppo villages from ISIS in 2017 alone. Given that rate of advance, the SAA was otherwise set to arrive at the gates of Raqqa within a few months.