BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:45 P.M.) – Zero hour is approaching for the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) offensive eastern Salamiyah, meaning the Islamic State’s (ISIL) presence in central Syria will soon come to an end.

With thousands of soldiers mobilized in eastern Hama, including their Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army has its sights set on the strategic town of ‘Uqayrbat, which is their most important stronghold in the central part of the country.

Losing ‘Uqayrbat will be a major loss the Islamic State will not be able to recover from, as the town is situated along a strategic roadway that leads to the terrorist group’s stronghold of Sukhnah to the east and the Palmyra-Homs Highway to the south.

Once ‘Uqayrbat is liberated, the Syrian Arab Army will be able to close-in on the Islamic State’s long salient that stretches between the Hama and Homs governorates – ultimately, central Syria.

The pro-government units involved in this upcoming battle are the following:

  • Tiger Forces (Cheetah Forces branch)
  • Liwaa Al-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary)
  • 11th Tank Division
  • National Defense Forces (NDF)
  • Qalamoun Shield (3rd Armored Division)
  • Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP)
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