The violent fighting is still taking place between regime forces supported by militiamen loyal to them of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities on one hand, and the members of ISIS on the other, in areas in the desert of Al-Sukhnah city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that regime forces managed to achieve strategic advancement, and take control of Dahiq mountain “Dahik mountain”, these forces who advance from Al-Taybah area to the south also managed to meet regime forces in the north of Al-Sukhnah, to impose the largest siege on ISIS, which besiege thousands of the remaining kilometers controlled by ISIS in the west of Al-Sukhnah and this line of encirclement with the first besieged circle which includes the eastern countryside of Hama with the part which is connected with it of the eastern countryside of Homs, in the mountains of Shomariyyeh and Jib Al-Jarah countryside and the west of Jabal Sha’ir.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 21st of August 2017 that the regime forces managed to achieve strategic advancement and took the control of Al-Taybah town and nearby hills and heights, the Syrian Observatory learned that this advancement enabled regime forces to achieve advancement towards Al-Sukhnah, and to reduce the size of the remaining distance between the advanced regime forces to the south of Al-Taybah and regime forces which are exist in the north of Al-Sukhnah city.
This advancement maintained a distance of about 10 km between the groups of regime in the south of Al-Taybah and in the north of Al-Sukhnah, and if regime forces managed during the next few hours or days to advance in this remaining area, they will manage to impose the largest siege against ISIS, since the start of clashes by regime forces against the organization at the beginning of 2017, where regime forces and gunmen loyal to them will besiege thousands of the remaining kilometers controlled by the organization in the eastern desert of Homs, with the section which is besieged days ago in the eastern countryside of Hama and the part which is attached with it of the eastern countryside of Homs, in Jib Al-Jarah, Shomariyyeh mountains and the west of Jabal Sha’ir.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 19th of August 2017 that the de-escalation agreement in Syria completes its 15th week on a row, since its implementation on the 6th of May 2017 in the areas extending from Idlib to Daraa including the areas controlled by the rebel and Islamic factions and excluded the areas controlled by ISIS, while the ongoing agreement witnessed an escalation of military operations by the regime forces against ISIS in the Syrian Desert and other nearby areas, achieving an advancement at the expense of the organization in 6 provinces.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the military operations of the regime forces against the “Islamic State” organization in the Syrian areas, as the regime forces managed to restore control of tens of thousands of square kilometers, and they approached to end the presence of “Islamic State” organization in two new provinces, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented that the regime forces and their allied militiamen of Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Lebanese, Afghan and Palestinian nationalities, and with the air cover of Russian and the regime’s warplanes, managed to restore control over an area of about 34 thousand square kilometers of the areas controlled by the organization in Syria. The regime advanced in all of this area at the expense of the organization, and this advancement took place since the beginning of May 2017 until today the 18th of August 2017 in the province of Aleppo, Rif Dimashq, Homs, Hama, al-Raqqa, and Deir Ezzor. During this period, the regime forces advanced at the expense of the organization in addition to their control over 5 thousand square kilometers of the Syrian territories at the expense of the rebel and Islamic factions, and thus the total area in which the regime forces advanced since May 2017 until now is more than 39 thousand square kilometers, as the presence of the organization has been completely ended in the province of Aleppo, while the organization still controls areas in Homs, Hama, and the countryside of al-Raqqa, and the regime forces-held areas has become more than 77 thousand square kilometers of the whole area of the Syrian territories, with a control percentage of about 42% of the geographical area of Syria.
This large advancement of the regime forces within 15 weeks exceeds the area controlled by the regime forces in entire Syria during the months preceding it. The SOHR learned that the Russian and Syrian regime forces made use of the de-escalation agreement in Syria, and the regime forces mobilized all of their forces and the militiamen allied to them of Syrian, Arab and Asian nationalities, and focused and directed their battles strongly in the Syrian desert, and the regime forces now has become close to implement a new siege of thousands of square kilometers of the desert, after they managed to advance and completely siege the eastern countryside of Hama, and the area linked to it in the areas of Jub al-Jerah and al-Shumaria Mountains in the eastern countryside of Homs, the regime forces, after advancing in areas south of Ithriyah and going deep into the borders of Hama with Homs province, near Sha’er Mountain in the eastern desert of Homs, managed to achieve a new strategic advancement and managed to meet their forces coming from Sha’er Mountain, and hence the regime forces were able to impose the first siege on the “Islamic State” organization in the Syrian Desert, and encircled about an area of 3 thousand kilometer square controlled by the organization that includes about 50 village and several oil and gas fields and wells, this area is extending from the fronts of Jub al-Jarrah and al-Shomariyyeh Mountain, which is about 50 km square away from Homs city to the fronts of the countryside of the western and northwest countryside of Salamiyah and Sha’er Mountain front. This encirclement comes within the greatest encirclement the regime forces are trying to implement which would besiege the organization in area of 7800 controlled by the organization in the Syrian Desert in the provinces of Homs and Hama.