A Syrian army officer told Sputnik Arabic on Wednesday that government troops successfully completed a military operation in the vicinity of the phosphate deposits near Khneifis, and liberated the villages of Al-Barda, Al-Basiri and al Ulyaniya.
The offensive also allowed the military to secure key elevated positions allowing it to restore traffic along the Damascus-Palmyra route.
According to the source, establishing control over elevated positions allowed the Syrian troops to better survey the surrounding territory and coordinate infantry operations.
The soldiers also managed to uncover a number of ISIL tunnels and dugouts which contained hidden caches of weapons, food and medical supplies.
Also in the past 24 hours, well-informed sources reported that simultaneous with escalation of fresh tensions between Riyadh and Doha, a fresh round of fierce clashes started among rival terrorist groups in Eastern Ghouta, inflicting major casualties on the waring sides.
The sources said that Jeish al-Islam stormed the defense lines of Faylaq al-Rahman and Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board) to take control of the town of al-Ash’ari and its surrounding farms, escalating heavy fighting between the rival terrorists.
Jeish al-Islam finally managed to seize control over al-Ash’ari farms.
The clashes inflicted heavy casualties on both waring sides.
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien said that over 100 Syrian civilians have been killed as a result of the airstrikes of the US-led international anti-terrorist coalition in recent weeks.
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien announced that over 100 Syrian civilians have been killed as a result of the airstrikes of the US-led international anti-terrorist coalition in the provinces of Raqqa and Deir Ezzur in recent weeks.
“Just last week, 30 children and women were gravely injured in a heinous attack by ISIL on besieged neighborhoods in Deir Ezzur as they were lining up for water. In addition, more than a hundred civilians, many of them women and children, have fallen victim, in recent weeks, to the escalating counter-ISIL airstrikes, particularly in the Northeastern governorates of Raqqa and Deir Ezzur,” O’Brien added addressing the UN Security Council meeting.
Also reports said on Wednesday that the US is now equipping Kurdish fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces with heavy machine guns, small arms and ammunition to battle ISIL fighters near their stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.
Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon told RT that this move represents the “early steps to prepare for the eventual liberation of Raqqa,” which the ISIL has declared the capital of its self-proclaimed caliphate.
“Overall, the equipment the US-led coalition will provide to the SDF includes small arms, ammunition, heavy machine guns and weapons capable of defeating specific threats our partner forces are expected to encounter as they take the fight to a desperate enemy, such as heavily-armored vehicle-borne IEDs,” Pahon said in an emailed statement.
O’Brien also said that about 100,000 Syrians had left Raqqa since April due to poor humanitarian conditions.
O’Brien called on the conflicting sides in Syria to allow free access for humanitarian aid deliveries, and said that about 100,000 Syrians had left Raqqa since April due to poor humanitarian conditions and the ongoing operation to liberate the city from the ISIL terrorist group.
“I call on members of this Council to use its influence to see that these actors respect humanitarian principles and allow the unfettered delivery of aid… With some 100,000 people displaced due to fighting around Raqqa since April, access is needed now through every possible modality. We need to see restrictions eased for those operating in the area. We need to see increased cross-border and cross-line access for humanitarian assistance into the area,” O’Brien added.
Ahrar al-Sham has executed several members of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at (the Levant Liberation Board) in Southern Idlib after clashes intensified between the two rival terrorist groups, media outlets close to the militant groups reported on Wednesday.
The websites affiliated to the terrorist groups disclosed that Ahrar al-Sham executed five members of Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at in the village of Filoun in Southern Idlib.
The sources said that Ahrar had captured the executed militants two days ago during clashes with Tahrir al-Sham.
Media activists in Northwestern Syria reported on Wednesday that tens of prisoners have escaped one of the jails controlled by Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) in Idlib.
The sources said that over fifty prisoners managed to escape Al-Nusra Jail in Abu al-Dhuhour region in Eastern Idlib.
The fugitive prisoners were jailed on criminal charges.
According to another source, one of the prisoners in the jail had seized a gun during forced labor, adding that the armed prisoner used his gun and forced the guards to free him and over 49 others.
The prisoners left the jail before Al-Nusra patrols could arrive at the scene.
The Syrian Army troops and Air Force targeted a number of ISIL’s concentration centers in Eastern Homs, killing and wounding a large number of terrorists and destroying their positions in large scale.
The army’s artillery and missile units shelled heavily ISIL’s movements and positions in the villages of Rasm al-Sab’ah, Um Sahrij, Abu Taraheh, Abu Jaris, Unq al-Hawa and al-Shandakhiyeh in Eastern Homs, destroying a missile launchpad and several positions.
The ISIL also suffered heavy casualties in the attacks.
In the meantime, the Syrian fighter jets pounded ISIL’s strongholds in the villages of Abu Taraheh, Abu Jaris, Unq al-Hawa, Northern Shandakhiyeh, East of Qatqat, Qasr Bin Rakan, West of Jabal (mount) al-Yatimiyeh and Manoukh, killing or wounding a large number of terrorists and destroying their positions and military vehicles.
Also in the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the missiles destroyed heavy equipment and killed fighters that ISIL had transferred from its stronghold, Raqqa, to Palmyra (Tadmur) in Homs province.
The Russian warships, a frigate named Admiral Essen and submarine named Krasnodar, fired Kalibr cruise missiles on combat vehicles and militants outside the Syrian city of Palmyra, the Defense Ministry added.
The four cruise missiles were fired from the Eastern Mediterranean, it noted in a statement. The submarine fired its missiles while submerged.
According to the MoD, “[the ships] targeted an area East of Palmyra, where the militants’ heavy weaponry and manpower were located. The militants moved there from Raqqa. All targets have been destroyed.”
The Syrian Army’s artillery and missile units along with the country’s Air Force pounded ISIL’s movement and positions South and South-West of Deir Ezzur city and managed to repel the terrorists’ heavy attacks on pro-government forces’ positions.
The artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at the movements of a group of ISIL terrorists that had attacked the army positions in areas surrounding the Gas Company West of Regiment 137 base in the Southern outskirts of Deir Ezzur, repelling their attack and killing 11 of the militants.
In the meantime, the army soldiers, backed up by the army aircraft, engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in al-Maqaber (cemetery) region, near Panorama base and Regiment 137 base.
The artillery units also shelled ISIL’s gathering centers and supply lines in the neighborhoods of al-Roshdiyeh, al-Hamidiyeh and Sheikh Yasin, and inflicted a number of casualties on the terrorists.
Field sources also reported on Wednesday that the Syrian Army troops are coordinating the last steps of a large-scale operation to storm ISIL’s defense lines through three directions to liberate the terrorist-held parts of Deir Ezzur city and its countryside.
The sources said that the army is about to launch a large-scale operation to lift ISIL’s siege of Deir Ezzur, adding that the plan of operation is ready and the forces and military equipment have been deployed in projected positions.
The sources further said that the Lebanese Hezbollah Resistance Movement has dispatched a number of its forces and field commanders to Deir Ezzur, adding that Hezbollah fighters are to shake hands with other pro-government forces that will start their operation towards Deir Ezzur from Palmyra city in Homs province.
The sources said that the army troops are to start their operation from Palmyra towards the strategic town of al-Sukhnah with the aerial back up of the Syrian and Russian fighter jets in order to move towards Deir Ezzur after liberation of al-Sukhnah.
In the meantime, another military operation will be launched from inside Deir Ezzur city Westward to join the army soldiers that will arrive in the region from Palmyra front.
The Syrian Army troops, backed up by the country’s Air Force, continued their anti-ISIL operation in Eastern Aleppo and managed to capture more strategic regions en route to the town of Maskana, the terrorist group’s last stronghold in the province.
The army units engaged in hours of fierce clashes with ISIL and managed to recapture the town of al-Alwah after inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
A military source said that the army soldiers are advancing towards Maskana from the three Western, Southern and Northern directions, adding that blocking ISIL’s supply lines to Maskana to prevent transfer of arms and fresh forces is the main objective of the army’s multi-front operation in the region.
The sources also said that the army aircraft targeted the defense lines of ISIL near Maskana several times, destroying several positions of the terrorists.
The Syrian and Russian bombers carried out a number of combat sorties over ISIL’s positions and movements in Eastern Hama, inflicting major losses on the Takfiri terrorists.
The Syrian fighter jets carried out several combat flights over ISIL’s movements and supply lines in the village of Akash and near Wadi (desert) al-Azib in countryside of the town of al-Salamiyah, killing and wounding a number of terrorists and destroying their equipment.
In the meantime, the Russian warplanes targeted ISIL’s defense lines near Aqarib East of al-Salamiyah, destroying several positions and killing the entire terrorists inside them.
Military sources in Eastern Homs also reported on Wednesday that the devastating attacks of the Russian and Syrian fighter jets on ISIL’s defense lines have turned the province into hell for the terrorists.
The sources said that the Syrian and Russian fighter jets have been pounding ISIL’s positions and movements East of the town of al-Salamiyah, destroying a large number of their positions.
In the meantime, the army units stormed ISIL’s gathering centers in the village of al-Baqousiyeh East of al-Salamiyah, inflicting major casualties on the militants, the sources added.
They went on to say that the ISIL has suffered heavy casualties and its military hardware has sustained major damage, adding that the terrorist front is rapidly breaking up.
Field sources also reported that the ISIL terrorists are fleeing the battlefield in large number.