For background here is part of Sputnik's March 27 report, Encircled: Syrian Army Poised to Storm Key Christian Town Near Palmyra;
The Syrian army and allied popular defense forces have closed their ring around Qariatein, a town 30 kilometers away from Palmyra, RIA Novosti reported citing a source on the ground.
“Qariatein is completely encircled. The Army and popular defense units are ready to storm in. Daesh terrorists are still holding their ground,” the source told RIA Novosti.
He said that peaceful residents had all fled the town along with most of the militants, with the rest covering their retreat.
Mostly populated by Christians, Qariatein was seized by Daesh terrorists more than a year ago to become their main stronghold in the south of the Homs province.
According to government sources the terrorists used the town as a supply base for their forces battling the Syrian army advance on Palmyra.
Now to the AMN breaking news report, filed by Leith Fadel:
At 4:15 A.M. (Damascus time) on Wednesday morning, the Syrian Arab Army’s 67th, 81st, and 120th brigades -backed by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), Qalamoun Shield, and Desert Hawks – launched a joint assault that targeted the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham’s (ISIS) defenses near the Quraytayn Orchards.
According to a battlefield correspondent, the Syrian Armed Forces launched the assault under the cover of darkness in order to evade ISIS’ machine gun nests that were forestalling their advance at Quraytayn’s southeastern flank.
Should the Syrian Arab Army and their allies enter the Quraytayn Orchards, they will have established an important foothold on the fringes of the city, leaving the ISIS terrorists surrounded from three different flanks.
Assisting the Syrian Armed Forces from above is the Russian Air Force, which is currently targeting ISIS’ positions around Quraytayn and the vast Syrian Desert, destroying any presence of the aforementioned terrorist group in their sight.
In the coming hours the battle will likely intensify as the Syrian Arab Army and their allies attempt to enter Quraytayn after a seven month absence from the city.