BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:20 P.M.) – A massive force comprised of Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hashd Al-Sha’abi soldiers is preparing to launch a large-scale offensive to eliminate the last remnants of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) in the region.

Speaking to Al-Masdar from the capital city of Damascus, a Syrian Arab Army source said that the offensive will concentrate on clearing the Islamic State’s large desert pocket in the Homs and Deir Ezzor provinces.

Furthermore, the source confirmed yesterday’s report that more than 10,000 fighters from Hashd Al-Sha’abi are set to participate in the offensive.

He added that Hashd Al-Sha’abi has been actively guarding the Syrian-Iraqi border and working with Damascus to maintain security at the crossings.

Syria and Iraq are hoping to reopen the public highway that stretches from Damascus to Baghdad; this move will be a major boost to both of their economies, as cross-border trade is imperative to each nation.

 

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Karel Vd Geest

SAA and iraqis will be in for a heavy fight as at least, ac to SOHR, some 2.000 IS swam the river recently, reinforcing IS forces in the badiya. Likely, it is more right now.

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Karel Vd Geest

The highway Damascus towards Iraq partly runs over SDF held lands. It is doubtful SDF will open it to Iraqi militia and SAA unless they “pay” for passage. By support along the border?

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Nestor Arapa

Te equivocas, Al-Bukamal está en la orilla de Eufrates lado dominado por Siria y mas al sur está bloqueado por los mercenarios de EE.UU.

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Catalan

there’s another highway, going through albukamal, hashad al shabi are in all the iraki syria border…

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Stern Daler

@Karel, SDF and government AFAIR/K allow each other using roads since before Afrin campaign.This agreement may include use friendly forces.

Iraqi militia also worked together with SDF along the border.

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Karel Vd Geest

For civiltransport, I know. For military purposes? A PMU? Likely not the same militia.

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Stern Daler

@Karel, okay. IMHO for military as well but I am not sure. To Afrin?

But we will see now.

There are also places like near Al-Bukamal where Syrians and PMU are direct neighbors.

p.s. direct road Damasks is to Tanf not SDF IMHO.
But I did not verify.