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Friday, April 1

Syrian Army methodically cutting off IS supply routes; plus advance on Quraytayn steps up

One by one they're cutting off the routes. No time stamp on the report but I think it was about an hour ago AMN reported Syrian Army cuts ISIL’s main supply route in east Hama, as follows:
One day after repelling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) large-scale assault on the important town of Sheikh Hilal, the Syrian Arab Army’s 66th Brigade launched their own offensive to cut off the terrorist group’s primary supply route in the eastern countryside of the Hama Governorate.

The Syrian Arab Army’s 66th Brigade – backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF) – began their attack by targeting ISIL’s positions at the village of Abu Hanaya; this would result in a long and bloody battle on Friday as the government forces made a push towards the nearby town of Al-Hardana.

ISIL fought hard, but in the end they were unable to maintain control over the Abu-Hanaya-Hardana Road due to the Syrian Arab Army’s relentless push and the Syrian Arab Air Force’s merciless airstrikes that helped weaken the terrorist group’s defenses and resolve.

With the Abu Hanaya-Hardana Road cut off, ISIL has lost one of its most important supply routes in the east Hama countryside, leaving them in desperate need to counter the Syrian Arab Army’s recent advance before it is too late.

Making matters worse for ISIL in east Hama, the Syrian Arab Army’s 66th Brigade is also pushing southeast towards the terrorist group’s main stronghold at ‘Aqayrbat; if captured by the Syrian Armed Forces, ISIL will be cut off from another important supply route.


As to the army's assault on Quraytayn City, for background see my March 30 post Syrian Army coalition storms outskirts of Christian city of Quraytayn.  SouthFront's April 1 video sitrep on Syrian and Iraqi military action includes an update on Quraytayn. From the transcript:
The SAA and its allies continue attempts to liberate the town of Quraytayn. The Syrian government reportedly decided to deploy additional reinforcements to strengthen the 4000-strong military grouping aimed to conduct operations in the area. A new full-scale advance on the town is expected in the nearest future.
This report from FARS today at 5:30 PM (I will assume Iran time) updates the SouthFront report, which was published much earlier today, and goes into detail about the reinforcements and advance on the city:

Syrian Army Preparing for Large-Scale Offensive in Quaryatayn, Reinforcement Arrives

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army is preparing for massive offensive against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists' positions in the strategic city of Quaryatayn as large reinforcements arrived in the region.

The Syrian army's 4th Mechanized Division sent a large number of its troops and military hardware to Quaryatayn to help the army conduct its military operations there.

The 43rd and 63rd brigades of the 4th Mechanized Division from Damascus have been redeployed to the Eastern part of Qalamoun in order to help liberate Quaryatayn and Mahsa'a from the remaining ISIL terrorists.

The 64th Regiment of the Syrian army's 4th Mechanized Division and Desert Hawk Brigades (Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra) will also join the 43rd and 63rd brigades in the Eastern Qalamoun to help with winning back more strategic regions in and in the surrounding areas of Quaryatayn.

The 43rd and 63rd brigades are well-known from their successful Qalamoun and Zabadani offensives, which they conducted side-by-side with Hezbollah in the Summer of 2015. The Desert Hawk Brigades already had a number of battalions in Quaryatayn, but they have now increased their units to lead the battle against the ISIL.

Approximately 4,000-4,500 military men of the Syrian army are currently present in East Qalamoun and the number will surely increase in the coming days.

In a relevant development on Thursday, the Syrian army continued pounding the ISIL terrorists' military positions and gathering centers in different parts of Quaryatayn city.

The army units hit hard the ISIL terrorists in Southern, Southwestern and Northern parts of Quaryatayn region in Homs province.

The army's artillery units backed up by Russian and Syrian fighter jets hit the ISIL's fortifications and gathering centers in al-Sukhneh region.

Scores of ISIL terrorists were killed and wounded in the Syrian army's attacks on Thursday.

In a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian army and popular forces continued their advances in the Eastern part of Homs province, and seized back two strategic regions near Quaryatayn.

The army units took full control of the Southern Farms and Height 861 in the surrounding area of Quaryatayn.

Scores of militants were killed and wounded in heavy clashes with the Syrian government troops near Quaryatayn.

Also on Tuesday, the Syrian army seized back a strategic height near the town of Quaryatayn.

The army units took full control of Hazm al-Gharbiat height by moving from Jabil mountain towards Hazm al-Awsat mountains in the Western part of Quaryatayn town.

The Syrian army inflicted heavy losses on the ISIL Takfiri terrorists and destroyed their armored vehicle killing all its crew members.

On Monday, the Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement started fresh military operations against the terrorists' military positions Quaryatayn town in Homs province, and seized control of a strategic hill in the region in the first phase of the operation.

The army units attacked the terrorists' positions in Quaryatayn.

The Syrian army and resistance forces seized back Mantar al-Ramliya Hill in Taloul al-Soud area in the Western part of Quaryatayn early in the first phase of their massive operations.

The Syrian army started its fresh operations after it cut the terrorists' supply routes to the ancient city of Palmyra which is also located in Eastern Homs.

Meantime, the Syrian army's artillery units heavily pounded the terrorists' positions in Quaryatayn.


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