The regime forces continue their military operation in the southern countryside of Al-Raqqah city supported by the gunmen loyal to them of Syrian and non-Syrian nationality, and these forces were able during their attack and clashes against the “Islamic State” organization to achieve an important advancement and control oil fields in the eastern half of the southern countryside of Al-Raqqah, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that this important advancement allowed the regime forces to reach the outskirts of the strategic mountain of al-Bashri, which is a rugged-terrain mountain and one of the most important strongholds of the “Islamic State” organization in Syria, where this mountain witnessed the visit of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi -the leader of the “Islamic State” organization- to meet with military and security commanders of the organization earlier, the mountain is extending within the administrative borders of 3 provinces and is one of the important centers of which the organization has been depending on in the supply operations and securing commanders.
This advancement comes hours after the important advancement achieved by the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them of Syrian, Iranian Iraqi and Lebanese nationalities; in the southern and southwestern countryside of Al-Raqqah, during which the regime forces were able to end the presence of the “Islamic State” organization in the western half of the southern countryside of Al-Raqqah and in the western countryside of Al-Raqqah, also the regime forces have recovered hundreds of kilometers from the “Islamic State” organization in the past 72 hours, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published that the regime forces, with intensive shelling on the organization’s positions, managed to achieve an important advancement and control oilfields in the southern countryside of al-Raqqa near the administrative border of al-Raqqa with Homs, while the members of the organization withdrew from other oilfields west of the advancement area, and the regime forces started to cleanse the area of which the organization has withdrawn. With this advancement, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the end of the presence of the “Islamic State” organization in the western and southwestern countryside of al-Raqqa city, and the “Islamic state” organization only controls an area extending from the south of al-Kasrat area, to the SDF-held line adjacent to the Euphrates River to the east of al-Resafa and to the administrative borders of Homs and the administrative borders with Deir Ezzor, in addition to parts of al-Raqqa city.
The Syrian Observatory published on the 14th of July that the regime forces coming from the countryside of al-Raqqa managed to enter for the first time the administrative borders of Homs province within a large wide scale operation in which the regime forces aim to advance and reach al-Hail oilfield area which the regime forces have controlled days ago, and if the regime forces managed to advance from the north to the south in an arrow-shape way for a distance of 70 kilometers starting from the administrative border of Homs and al-Raqqa, which the regime forces have entered today, and reached al-Hail oilfield area, the regime forces would have fully besieged organization-held area of more than 11 thousand kilometers square in the provinces of Homs, Hama, and al-Raqqa, and the organization would have two options either to surrender or get into the siege and fight till the end if it didn’t withdraw like what happened in the province of Aleppo by the end of June 2017.
The quest from al-Resafa to the northeastern countryside of Homs, which aims at controlling al-Kom strategic area, the organization’s stronghold and al-Sukhnah city which is the last stronghold of the organization in Homs province, comes in conjunction with consequent attacks by the regime forces, Palestinian al-Quds Brigade, Palestinian Al-Jaleel Forces, and other militiamen loyal to the regime forces on areas and positions of the “Islamic State” organization in the eastern countryside of al-Salamiyah city, in attempts to minimize the areas controlled by the organization in the eastern countryside of Hama, and the regime forces managed yesterday to force the organization under the pressure of the heavy shelling and violent clashes, to withdraw from 3 villages and hills surrounding them, while the Russian and the regime’s warplanes carry out intense airstrikes on Eqayrbat district and areas controlled by the organization in the eastern and northeastern countryside of Al-Salamiyah city, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned earlier that the Russian forces tends to provide fire coverage and preparations, through daily intense shelling on the organization-held areas in the eastern countryside of Hama, in order to secure the road for the ground forces coming from the abovementioned areas, where the Russian forces are seeking, through this operation, to control the remaining “Islamic State” organization-held areas, which include oil and gas fields.
It is noteworthy that the regime forces on the 6th of July 2017 managed to achieve advancement towards al-Sukhnah city and became about 15 km away of the strategic city of al-Sukhnah, which is a new gateway for accessing Deir Ezzor province, the majority of the city is controlled by the “Islamic State” organization, the Syrian Observatory also published about 3 days ago that the regime forces had taken control of al-Heel oil field and forced the remaining members of the “Islamic State” organization in the field to withdraw from it towards their controlled areas in al-Sukhnah Desert.