SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JULY 18, 2017: ARMY ADVANCING ON ISIS-HELD TOWN OF SUKHNA

Voiceover by Harold Hoover

On Monday, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) repelled an attack of pro-Turkish militants in the direction of Ayn Daqnah in the northern part of Aleppo province.  According to pro-Kurdish sources, the attack was supported by Turkish artillery units.  The artillery shelling also targeted YPG positions in Herbel, Sheikh Issa, and Tel Rifat.  The YPG repelled the first wave of the attack and allegedly killed 20 pro-Turkish militants and captured a few vehicles.

On Tuesday, sporadic clashes continued in the area.  According to experts, pro-Turkish militants will not be able to break the YPG defense without direct assistance from the Turkish army.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed up by the US-led coalition airpower, recaptured the whole Yarmouk district from ISIS and entered the Nezle Shihade district in the city of Raqqah.  At the same time, US military sources denied reports that the SDF had allegedly halted its operations against ISIS because of tensions among Arab and Kurdish units of the group.

The Syrian Army Tiger Forces and Tribal forces captured the Deilla oil field south of the government-held town of Resafa in the province of Raqqah, according to pro-government sources.  The Tiger Forces and their allies are steadily clearing from ISIS key areas south of the Resafa-Ithriyah road.

Numerous pro-government sources are speculating about the expected government push from the Resafa area towards the ISIS besieged city of Deir Ezzor.  However, right now, this option looks unlikely.

In turn, government forces are developing momentum in the direction of Sukhna northeast of Palmyra.  According to local sources, the army and its allies have captured new points en route to the ISIS-held town.

Reports about alleged government forces progressing towards the ISIS-held T2 pumping station near the border with Iraq are fake.  Clashes are still ongoing in the area of Hamimah.

SYRIAN ARMY ADVANCES ON STRATEGIC ISIS-HELD TOWN OF SUKHNA, GETS CONTROL OVER HILLS NEAR IT (MAP)

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Liwa al-Quds, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and other pro-government factions have launched a push in order to reach the strategic ISIS-held town of Sukhna located at the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor road.

According to pro-government sources, the SAA, the NDF and their allies have advanced northeast of the al-Hail field and captured some hills allowing to overlook the vicinity of Sukhna.

Sukhna is surrounded by a number of hills that overlook the town. If government forces capture these hills, they will be able to establish a fire control over the town.

Syrian Army Advances On Strategic ISIS-held Town Of Sukhna, Gets Control Over Hills Near It (Map)

Pro-Syria forces advance in central Homs against ISIS

 

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:15 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have scored a big advance against ISIS in central Homs. The attack was made on a front that has been virtually inactive for months.

Today the SAA and allied outfits captured new points and hilltops from ISIS near the al-Tafha al-Janoubyah mountain chain to the northwest of the T-4 Military Airport. According to reports, pro-government forces advanced some two kilometers in the area.

The assault by pro-government forces was backed up by Russian airstrikes.

According to a post-operation assessment provided to Al-Masdar News, pro-government forces killed at least twenty (20) ISIS militants as a result of the firefight that took place.

With the advances achieved by the SAA and its allies today, the buffer zone along the section of highway linking Homs to Palmyra as been expanded. Furthermore, the push has also brought pro-government forces closer to the strategic Huwysis area.

Whether this was just a one-off advance in the area or part of a greater offensive action is currently unknown.

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