"On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies announced start of the Operation “Grand Dawn in eastern Syria. The aim of the operation is to expel militants from the eastern desert and to set a foothold for a push to Deir Ezzor. The declaration followed a major success of government forces in southeastern Homs where they had liberated about 5,000 km2 and got a full control over the Damascus-Palmyra highway.
ISIS deployed a force for a counter-attack but its formidable military convoy was fully destroyed by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force en route to the Zaza triangle area. Thus, the terrorist group defense lines just collapsed.
The government advance south of the Homs-Palmyra highway also allowed government forces to isolate Jaish al-Islam militants in eastern Qalamoun and to prevent their attempt to unite efforts with US-backed militant groups operating near the Syrian-Jordanian border" southfront
To misquote "Old Blue Eyes," they're doing it their way. It is hard to argue with this much success. I would have gone for Idlib Province first but this is impressive. the R+6 have now connected in one terrain mass all their previously separated road bound penetrations in the area from Damascus to Palmyra and beyond. They seem intent on advancing to al tanf.
This plus the declared intention of the Iraq PMU to advance to the Syria-Iraqi border would seem to put paid to US coalition plans for a redoubt base area for its FSA unicorns and assorted AQ type jihadis in the area astride the border triangle of Syria/Jordan/Iraq.
All of this is being assisted by the IS efforts to defend in the general Raqqa area. To do this they are evidently withdrawing forces from the central desert of Syria. The armored counterattack in this report was probably originally intended for dispatch to the Raqqa area but they were diverted to the counterattack and were destroyed by air attack out in the open desert. Good.
Well, well, pilgrims ... what next? pl