For over two months, Palmyra has been under the occupation of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and while the terrorist group is on the offensive in two provinces inside northern Syria (Aleppo and Al-Hasakah), they find themselves under attack by the same enemy they captured this ancient city from in late April of 2015.
The Syrian Armed Forces have done a 180 on the Palmyra front, as they have gone from being on the defensive, to reversing many of ISIS’ gains along the vast desert territory encompassing the Palmyra-Homs Highway.
Much of the Syrian Armed Forces’ success in Palmyra has been due in large part to the SAA’s Central Command’s brigade reshuffling on this front; this was an imperative decision that saw the mobilization of the Tiger Forces from the Idlib Governorate to the Jazal and Al-Sha’ar Mountains.
Not long after their arrival, the Tiger Forces watched ISIS’ defensive frontlines crumble in the northern countryside of Palmyra; thus, allowing for the Tiger Forces to sweep the Jazal and Al-Sha’ar Mountains en route to the strategic groves of Al-Bayarat, then to the farms of Abu Al-Fawaris, and finally to the Ancient Quarries.
Meanwhile, to the south, the SAA’s 67th Brigade of the 18th Tank Division found their own level of success along the Palmyra-Homs Highway, where they were able to capture a number of sites over the last two weeks, including the Al-Qadri Farms and the Palmyra Driving School recently.
With the Tiger Forces advancing towards the village of Al-‘Amariyah, the Desert Hawks Brigade – that have fought along their side this whole time – will likely break away to the west of the Qassoun Mountains and attack from this flank.
The Desert Hawks are likely to link up with the SAA’s 67th Brigade, who is also pushing towards the western flank of Palmyra; however, there is always the possibility of the 67th Brigade swooping to the Palmyra Farms at the southern flank – still too early to tell.