In their quest to control oil and gas fields in the Syrian desert… Russian warplanes carry out hundreds of airstrikes during 17 days of escalation east of Hama

The escalation continues for the 17th consecutive day, by the regime forces, Russian warplanes and regime’s warplanes on the eastern countryside of Hama, stretching from Sheikh Hilal area in the northeastern countryside of Salamiyah city to Shaer gas fields in the countryside of Homs, where the observatory documented of hundreds of raids carried out by Russian warplanes and regime’s warplanes during the period between the 20th of June 2017 until the 5th of July 2017 targeting ISIS-controlled areas in the villages of Al-Barghothiyyah, Abu-Hbaylat, Abu-Hanaya, Jana Al-‘Albawi, Hamada Omar, Salba, Massoud, Qulayb Al-Thawr, Al-Hardana, ‘Akash, Abu-Dalia and other areas controlled by ISIS near ‘Eqayrbat in the eastern countryside of Hama،in the frame of the operation that was started by the regime forces are trying to advance for 45 km, extending from the points of Shahed 9 and Shahed 10 south-west of Al-Sheikh Hilal area in the eastern countryside of Hama to Al-Sha’er Gas Field in the eastern desert of Homs. Such an advancement, if achieved, would allow the regime forces to force ISIS to withdraw from an area of about 2500 km2, over both Homs and Hama Provinces and put an end to ISIS existence in Hama completely.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from several reliable sources that the Russian forces are providing an aerial and ground firearm through the intense daily bombardment and shelling on the “Islamic State” organization’s controlled areas in the eastern countryside of Hama, in order to secure the road for the ground forces to advance in the area mentioned above, also the Syrian Observatory learned that Russian forces are seeking through this process to control the remaining areas that are under the control of the “Islamic State” organization, which contain oil and gas fields.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also observed that this advancement -in case it was carried out by the Russian-supported regime forces and militiamen loyal to them- would completely secure the road of Salamiyyeh – Ithriyah – Khanasser – Aleppo, which is the main nourishing artery of Aleppo city and regime forces’ controlled areas in the province, and it will also secure the road of Palmyra – Homs completely.

The SOHR published on the 30th of June 2017, that the regime forces led by Tiger Groups and supported by their Syrian and non-Syrian allied militiamen have begun the process of sweeping villages and hills in the southeastern countryside of Aleppo. Reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that members of the “Islamic State” organization withdrew during the last hours of that night from the southern countryside of Aleppo to areas controlled by the organization in the Syrian desert, via hundreds of meters that the regime forces kept without control after they advanced into the road Al-Resafa – Ithriyah one day before that. The organization withdrew from the villages and the desert which it used to control in the southeastern countryside of Aleppo, to areas it controls in the Syrian Desert. And with such an advancement by the regime forces and their allied militiamen, of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities, the presence of the “Islamic State” organization in Aleppo province came to an end. This advancement also secured the road of Aleppo – Khanasser – Ithriyah completely, while the road from Ithriyah to Salamiyah remains exposed to the attacks of the organization which spreads at a close distance to the road in the eastern and northeastern countryside of Salamiyah city. This advancement also allows the regime forces to get closer to Twinan Gas Field which they have been striving to control.



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