The Syrian army, supported by Russia’s Aerospace Forces, hit over 4,600 ISIL facilities since the start of the new year, as forces loyal to the Damascus government are engaged in heavy clashes with the savage terrorist group in the 3 provinces of Aleppo, Deir Ezzur and Homs.
“Currently, the government troops, with support from Russia’s Aerospace Forces, are conducting successful offensive operations against the Daesh [ISIL] terrorist group,” Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, the chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate, said.
“A total of 4,608 terrorist targets have been hit since January 1,” he added.
Syrian soldiers and popular forces, backed by Air Forces of Damascus and Moscow, are engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir Ezzur and Homs, as the pro-government troops are conducting military operations to win back al-Bab and Deir Hafer in Eastern Aleppo province, lifting the siege of Deir Ezzur military airbase and recapturing the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in Eastern Homs province.
Syrian government forces have launched military operation in Eastern Aleppo to drive ISIL terrorists out of more lands near the Kuweires airbase to pave the ground for the liberation of the towns of al-Bab and Deir Hafer, recapturing tens of towns and farms from ISIL terrorists in the Northeastern countryside of Aleppo Province.
Army men, backed by Syrian and Russian bombers, hae killed tens of ISIL terrorists, including field commanders and high-ranking Emirs of ISIL, destroying several military columns of terrorists during the operation in Eastern Aleppo.
Field sources say al-Bab is of strategic importance and can be considered as the key to the Eastern part of the province, adding that al-Bab and Deir Hafer are the gates to Raqqa province and their liberation will pave the way for the army to take back Raqqa, the ISIL’s self-proclaimed capital in Syria.
According to latest reports, the Syrian army from South and Southwest, Turkish army from North and Northwest and Kurdish groups form East have laid siege on ISIL-held al-Bab.
Elsewhere, in the Eastern part of the country, the ISIL terrorists drove a wedge along the government-controlled regions mid-January after capturing Deir Ezzur’s cemetery and the road connecting the city to the airbase. 14,000 ISIL terrorists launched a massive attack on army positions South of Deir Ezzur city, cutting off the strategic road connecting the city to a military airport.
After several rounds of heavy offensives against the Syrian Army positions that all failed, 14,000 ISIL militants and tens of suicide attackers and bomb-laden vehicles, managed to advance against government forces on the road connecting Deir Ezzur airbase to the city, dividing army-controlled regions in Deir Ezzur into two parts.
Military sources disclosed that the ISIL’s current round of attacks is the heaviest and largest operation the terrorist group has ever conducted in Deir Ezzur city and its military airport.
According to reports, the ISIL has gathered a large number of its forces from Raqqa, Deir Ezzur countryside and even from Mosul in Iraq to take part in the offensive. The ISIL also has a large number of suicide attackers and bomb-laden vehicles involved in the offensive in Deir Ezzur.
Then, Syrian Army troops, backed up by the Syrian and Russian air force, started to hit ISIL’s positions hard in the outskirts of Deir Ezzur to remove terrorists’ siege on the city’s military airport, managing to recapture several regions between the Deir Ezzur airbase and the city.
Syrian army units backed by aerial support have recaptured more areas in strategic al-Ma’amel region and in the surrounding areas of security brigade, as the military operations come closer to breaking the Deir Ezzur military airport siege.
ISIL kicked off a large-scale operation on December 8 with thousands of forces in Homs province to take control of Palmyra that was liberated by the Syrian Army in March 2016.
The ISIL took control over some energy fields and strategic heights and approached Palmyra.
The terrorist group finally entered the city of Palmyra on December 10, but the Russian and Syrian forces could repel their attacks, killing hundreds of them.
4,000 fighters of the ISIL carried out again a large-scale offensive against government positions in Palmyra from several flanks and finally managed to capture the city on December 11, while only 800 army soldiers were defending the city and there was no possibility for aerial coverage by the Russian and Syrian warplanes due to bad weather.
The Russia’s center for Syrian reconciliation noted ISIL had moved considerable forces from their stronghold of Raqqa, while more forces and equipment were relocated from Deir Ezzur.
The center cited intelligence data that ISIL had moved up to 5,000 fighters to the cities of Raqqa and Deir Ezzur from the Iraqi stronghold of Mosul.
The Syrian Army, backed by the Syrian and Russian Aerospace Forces, liberated Palmyra in March, 2016, nearly a year after it was captured by ISIL in May 2015.
During the invasion, terrorists had cruelly destroyed a major portion of the historic sites in the city. UNESCO Chief Irina Bokova had warned that ISIL militants in both Iraq and Syria were responsible for “the most brutal and systematic” destruction of the ancient heritage since World War II.
After fall of Palmyra, the strategic T4 airbase is the main base of the Syrian army troops in Eastern Homs and if the ISIL managed to occupy that, the cities of Quaryatayn, Maheen and even Homs city itself will be at risk of occupation.