The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), led by the 5th Assault Corps, and other pro-government combat outfits have burst open the last feasible defensive line that ISIS has before the strategic town of al-Sukhnah.
After capturing a number of key points and hilltops earlier today, the SAA and its allies continued their advance, taking new points and a series of important hilltops north of Al-Hayl gas field to a distance of 4 kilometers.
In particular, the mountain chain the SAA has just entered into possesses the very last series of hilltops within a great tangle of mountain chains that stretches all the way back to Palmyra. Ironically, the rough Arabic translation for the name (rather be it an expression) of this last mountain chain before al-Sukhnah is “the end of the Palmyra chain hills.”
These last aforementioned hilltops are extremely important insofar as their capture will give pro-government forces total fire control over al-Sukhnah.
This reality alone will likely push ISIS to withdraw from the town instead of fighting the SAA under conditions in which the terrorist group’s forces will be completely annihilated.
Thus, after a slow advance over past week and suffering relatively high casualties, the SAA has finally been able to breach the Islamic State’s most pivotal defensive line in the area around al-Sukhnah and advance into the last strategic terrain before the town itself.
Now al-Sukhnah’s liberation is within sight and pro-government forces could reach the gates of the town, or even take it back from ISIS completely, within a single week now.