On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies announced start of the Operation “Grand Dawn” in eastern Syria. The aim of the operation is to expel militants from the eastern desert and to set a foothold for a push to Deir Ezzor. The declaration followed a major success of government forces in southeastern Homs where they had liberated about 5,000 km2 and got a full control over the Damascus-Palmyra highway.
ISIS deployed a force for a counter-attack but its formidable military convoy was fully destroyed by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force en route to the Zaza triangle area. Thus, the terrorist group defense lines just collapsed.
The government advance south of the Homs-Palmyra highway also allowed government forces to isolate Jaish al-Islam militants in eastern Qalamoun and to prevent their attempt to unite efforts with US-backed militant groups operating near the Syrian-Jordanian border.
A new photo appeared online showing a Russian-made self-propelled 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzer with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Syria. The modern howitzer was supplied to the Syrian government by the Russian military.
The photo shows the howitzer deployed is a desert area, most likely somewhere in the countryside of Palmyra or north of Suweida. The presence of these weapon systems is another argument contributing to a success of pro-government forces in the area.
In the province of Aleppo, the SAA Tiger Forces and their allies further outflanked the strategic ISIS-held town of Maskanah liberating the villages of Fariyah, Khirbat Ghudraf, Jubab Masudiyah, Shumriya, Batushiya, and Salemiyah.
Meanwhile, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued steadily isolating the city of Raqqah from the western direction.
Summing up the recent developments, the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance have taken the initiative in its hands and now is aiming to achieve own strategic goals in eastern Syria, while the US-led coalition attempts to make some gains along the Jordanian and Iraqi borders and prepares for a storm of Raqqah.