The advance was secured by the Russian-trained 5th Legion and elements of the 18th Tank Division in a rapid morning operation through a heavily mined area.
Effectively, government forces have secured the northern flank of its Palmyra salient while also applying significant pressure on ISIS-held territory in eastern Hama and Homs.
If SAA commanders decide to strike further northwards, they could cutoff around 100 ISIS-held villages from the Islamic State mainland in eastern Syria.
The dauting task requires the SAA to advance some 50 kilometers through sparsely populated desert terrain which has not been under government control since 2014; this offensive would not only safeguard the Palmyra bulge but also secure the Aleppo supply line once and for all.
A zoomable version of the map can be found here.