On Friday, the Syrian Arab Army’s Central Command announced their intention to advance to Deir Ezzor after liberating the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in the Homs Governorate.
The city of Palmyra is strategically situated between the provincial capitals of the Homs and Deir Ezzor governorates, so its location makes it an imperative military endeavor for the Syrian Armed Forces.
More importantly, the liberation of the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor Highway will allow the 4,000 Syrian Arab Army soldiers from the 104th Brigade of the Republican Guard and the 137th Artillery Brigade of the 17th Reserve Division to no longer be under siege by the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in Deir Ezzor City.
The loss of Palmyra and Al-Sukhennah in May of 2015 left the Syrian Arab Army soldiers at Deir Ezzor City without a primary supply route and the 150,000 civilians trapped there without any way of getting out.
As a result, ISIS has launched several offensives to tighten the siege around Deir Ezzor City, creating a humanitarian crisis in several districts under government control.
However, this is expected to change with this large-scale offensive that has mobilized thousands of soldiers from the Syrian Armed Forces, Hezbollah, and Iraqi paramilitary units.
According to a battlefield correspondent in Damascus City, this offensive has not yet started, despite several claims by ISIS social media activists.
The offensive will begin after the Russian airstrikes over the eastern countryside of the Homs Governorate dissipate; thus allowing the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies to attack ISIS’ fractured defenses.