SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JULY 12, 2017: ARMY SEEKS TO DIVIDE MILITANT-HELD AREA IN EASTERN DAMASCUS

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) are attempting to separate Jobar and Zamalka areas in eastern Damascus countryside. They have advanced along the M5 highway and claimed capturing some buildings in the process. Clashes have also continued in Ayn Tarma. Faylaq Al-Rahman and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham are two militant groups opposing the SAA and the NDF in the area.

The SAA, the NDF and other pro-government factions have fully liberated the al-Hayl gas field area, including hills near the gas field, from ISIS terrorists in the countryside of Palmyra.

The SAA and its allies entered the al-Hayl gas field area earlier this month, captured the al-Hayl gas station, and engaged ISIS units in an intense fighting in the area. On Tuesday, government forces got a full control over the area and seized hills overlooking the gas field. However, ISIS launched a counter-attack in an attempt to the field. An intense fighting is now ongoing.

ISIS had set up a series of strongpoints in the mountain area along the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway. These strongpoints became an obstruction for the government forces attempting to reach the strategic town of Sukhna.

The video has appeared online showing a large convoy of pro-government tribal fighters allegedly moving to participate in the expected government operation against ISIS in Deir Ezzor. According to the report, some 4,000 tribal fighters will participate in the advance. However, this number looks overestimated.

A Russian military adviser, Nikolay Afanasov, has been killed as a result of mortar shelling from militants in Hama province, the Russian Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday. The captain was tasked with training Syrian ground forces. He was granted a state decoration posthumously. According to official statements, 34 Russian military servicemen have been killed since the start of the operation in Syria.

An intense fighting continued between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and ISIS inside the city of Raqqah. SDF units, backed up by the US-led coalition airpower and artillery, are pressuring on ISIS defense lines in western and eastern Raqqah in an attempt to reach the city center and divide it into two parts via the al Firdaws street. ISIS uses snipers and suicide bombers countering the US-backed advance.

Meanwhile, the SDF has established of the first female Arab battalion within the US-backed group. The recently created battalion was named the Battalion of Martyr Amara for Arab Women. The declared aim of the move is to fight ISIS terrorists in eastern Syria and to protect women rights. The creation of the Battalion of Martyr Amara for Arab Women was officially announced by Rojda Seyar, an SDF field commander, on Monday.

Syrian Army Closing Militant Pocket In Eastern Damascus Desert Area

Syrian Army Closing Militant Pocket In Eastern Damascus Desert Area

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Pro-government forces, led by Syrian army and Hezbollah units, have launched an advance in order to capture the Abu Khashbah area in the eastern Damascus desert.

Government troops have advanced in the area south of Ar-Ruhba in order to close encircle the area controlled by US-backed militants south of the al-Seen military airbase. This desert area is not fully controlled by US-backed forces. However, it cannot be secured while the army and its allies are not in control of Abu Khashbah.

If government troops liberate the Abu Khashbah area and clear the militant pocket west of it, they will significantly shorten the frontline in southeastern Syria and make another important step in isolation of the US-held garrisons at the border with Iraq.

Syrian Army Closing Militant Pocket In Eastern Damascus Desert Area

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Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra Refues To Work Alongside Syrian Democratic Forces – Media

Jaysh Maghawir al-Thawra Refues To Work Alongside Syrian Democratic Forces - Media

Jaysh Maghawir Al-Thawra members alongisde with US-led coalition forces are in southeastern Syria

The US-backed Jaysh Maghawir Al-Thawra militant group operating in southeastern Syria has refused to work alongside another US-backed faction branded as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), according to the pro-opposition Qasion News Agency.

The agency reported that Jaysh Maghawir Al-Thawra has denied that it intends to redeploy to the Shadadi area in the northern Syrian province of Hasaka and to participate alongside with the SDF in the expected US-backed advance on Deir Ezzor.

Earlier this month, reports appeared that the US is gouing to build a military garrison at Shadadi with the aim to use it as a foothold for the anti-ISIS operation in the province of Deir Ezzor.

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