The pro-government forces operating in the eastern Homs combat sector have, after almost three weeks of back-and-forth fighting against ISIS terrorists around the T-4 airbase, achieved a number of decisive breakthroughs in their ongoing offensive to liberate the ancient city of Palmyra.
In the last few days, the Syrian Arab Army, supplemented by Hezbollah detachments and backed by tremendous artillery power, renewed its drives to the south, east and north of the T-4 military airport. On the 1st of February, the area of Qasr al-Hayr was liberated, helping to further secure the buffer zone around both the Tiyas crossroads and the T-4 airbase. The most important gain however was achieved with the liberation of the Jihar crossroads on the 2nd of February after almost 3 weeks on constant contest over the strategic area.
It is at the Jihar junction where ISIS has so for been investing the bulk of its defensive efforts and where they have now lost their main staging point for conducting future flank attacks to the north and south of the T-4 airbase with the hope of slowing down the momentum of the pro-government offensive. Ferocious counterattacks by ISIS to recapture this strategic point are almost inevitable.
Finally, a fresh push to the north is now threating future ISIS control over the Hayyan gas plant. The entire area has become a contested battlespace. According to pro-government sources, Syrian Army troops have overrun Daesh defences on the periphery of the plant and stormed the western sector of the complex, forcing ISIS to withdraw to inner positions.