The sources said that the army’s Tiger Forces lifted the three and a half year long siege on the Kuweires Military Airport in Eastern Aleppo in November 2015 that paved the way for their eventual reentry into the al-Bab Plateau and Deir Hafer Plains.
“However, the Tiger Forces offensive was put on hold by the army’s CentCom in March 2015, as the nationwide ceasefire at that time provided them the means to finally liberate Palmyra from the ISIL terrorists,” he added.
Now, Palmyra is once again under ISIL’s control, but this time around, the Syrian army has a large number of reserves from their Republican Guard forces that are still positioned in Eastern Aleppo, he explained.
The source said these Republican Guard units will not be redeployed to the Palmyra front like the Tiger Forces; instead, they will take part in the Syrian Arab Army’s first real offensive to liberate the ISIL’s stronghold of Deir Hafer near Raqqa province’s border.
Another important component to take in account is the Turkish Army’s offensive at al-Bab; this operation has kept the ISIL terrorists busy, while also leaving them short on manpower at the Deir Hafer front, according to the source.
Military sources disclosed last month that a large number of Syrian soldiers were deployed at Kuweires airbase to start military operations against the terrorists in al-Bab Northeast of Aleppo province.
“Hundreds of Syrian soldiers are now in Kuweires airbase 40 kilometers to the east of Aleppo city to start al-Bab military operations against the ISIL terrorist group,” the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed military source as saying.
The source said that the Syrian army has sent around 1,000 reinforcement troops to the Eastern countryside of Aleppo to start the operation that aims to create a safe zone in areas in the vicinity of Kuweires airbase, including al-Bab.
“The Syrian government troops’ military operation in al-Bab region is also meant to block further advances of the Turkey-backed terrorists in al-Bab region,” the source added.
A military source said in November that the Syrian army troops were about to launch a massive operation against ISIL positions in the town of al-Bab in Northeast Aleppo and the town of Deir Hafer in the Eastern part of the province to end the Takfiri terrorists’ rule in the region.
“A large number of fresh forces have been dispatched to the Eastern countryside of Aleppo to start military operation against the positions of ISIL to create a larger safe zone around Kuweires airbase,” the source said.
“Thousands of army’s special forces have been deployed in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo to take part in the liberation operation of al-Bab and Deir Hafer,” he further added.
“After recapturing Manbij from ISIL, al-Bab an Deir Hafer have turned into the largest bases of ISIL in Aleppo province,” the source said.
Experts believe that army’s operations in al-Bab and Deir Hafer that are entrance gates to Raqqa province signify the government forces plan to start an attack on Raqqa soon.