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In the provinces of Raqqa and Homs, the Syrian Arab Army and its allies are engaged in a relentless high-pitched battle against the ISIS terrorist group. Unlike the US coalition who wishes to preserve ISIS in Syria as a future card against the Damascus-Tehran-Moscow alliance, the objective of pro-government forces is clear, absolute and simple – for them ISIS, as the most fundamentally despotic and godforsaken entity to ever establish itself on Syrian soil, must be destroyed. With virtually all of the Syrian Army’s vanguard strength being directed against the so-called Islamic State to the effect of tens of thousands of troops and untold quantities of tanks and artillery – and with ISIS itself now facing the very real possibility of being expelled from the country by the end of the year – it appears that the perfect conditions for a Mother of all Battles are brewing in eastern Syria.

THIS NARRATION SCRIPT IS THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF OZ ANALYSIS

Over the last two weeks, pro-government forces – most notably the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces and the 5th Assault Corps – have been rolling back the ISIS frontier in eastern Syria throughout a series of offensives. The inescapable focus of all the multi-front operations by the Syrian Army and its allies is the strategic city of Deir Ezzor which is now in its third year of besiegement at the hands of the so-called Islamic State.

THIS NARRATION SCRIPT IS THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF OZ ANALYSIS

In addition to now securing most of the mountain chains running between Palmyra and al-Sukhnah, the highlight of the 5th Assault Corps’s most recent push has been the liberation of the al-Hayl gas field – a massive energy complex. The Tiger Forces for their part have reach the B’ir al-Zamlah road junction, the village of As-salaam Alaikum as wells as the towns of Dulhah and Huwayjat Shinan on the western bank of the Euphrates River. Furthermore, in-between these advances, the Tiger Forces have liberated dozens of oil wells, gas extraction points and energy facilities.

THIS NARRATION SCRIPT IS THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF OZ ANALYSIS

In response these ever-encroaching advances against it, ISIS has attempted to grind down pro-government forces by launching multiple raids south and east of Palmyra. Although these hit-and-run attacks have inflicted dozens of dead and wounded on pro-government forces, the Syrian Army and its allies have, in general, managed to successfully hold a solid front-line over the last several weeks, despite having to tactically withdraw at certain times under pressure from large ISIS raids.

THIS NARRATION SCRIPT IS THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF OZ ANALYSIS

As of yesterday, the Syrian Army High Command has sent massive reinforcements to back up the 5th Assault Corps in eastern Homs province. Among the newly-arrived forces are battle-hardened formations such as the 800th Regiment of the Republican Guard, the 1st Armoured Division and the 3rd Armoured Division of the Syrian Arab Army. Such reinforcements are a clear indication that a new broad-front offensive sweep against ISIS is being prepared. To this end it can be expected that whilst the Tiger Forces drive on Deir Ezzor from the northern direction, the central front forces will focus on capturing al-Sukhnah whilst Syrian Army and allied formations in the south place additional pressure on ISIS to stretch the terrorist group’s military resources to breaking point.