BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:00 A.M.) – It has been over 13 months since the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has launched any-sort of military operation in the eastern countryside of Aleppo; however, with their recent success inside the provincial capital, the government forces are poised to conduct their largest operation against the Islamic State (ISIS) in this region.
With the Palmyra operation on hold, the Syrian Arab Army’s High Command has mobilized thousands of soldiers from some of their most elite divisions to carry out the offensive against the remaining terrorist forces spread across the Al-Bab Plateau and Deir Hafer Plains.
A senior officer from the Syrian Arab Army told Al-Masdar News on Thursday evening that the High Command does not plan on stopping their operations in east Aleppo until their forces have successfully reached the Tabaqa Military Airport.
In order to reach the Tabaqa Military Airport, the Syrian Arab Army would have to take the key city of Deir Hafer, which is located along the Aleppo-Raqqa Highway.
However, there are some issues that might make this military operation somewhat complicated; for one, the Kurdish-led “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) are quickly advancing to the Tabaqa Military Airport from the northwest.
If the Syrian Arab Army plans to take the Tabaqa Military Airport, they will eventually run into the Syrian Democratic Forces along the Aleppo-Raqqa Road.
The Syrian Democratic Forces are backed by the U.S. military, so unless the Russians and Americans are working together, this could get ugly.
The bright-side to this Syrian Arab Army operation is that it coincides with other offensives against the Islamic State in the Aleppo Governorate.
One of the larger offensives taking place in Aleppo right now is the Turkish Army’s assault on Al-Bab; this is one of the Islamic State’s most important strongholds in east Aleppo, so losing it would be devastating.
In the coming days, the number of airstrikes over east Aleppo should increase, paving the way for the eventual offensive to expel the islamic State forces once and for all.