Follow Us:
Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Syrian army rapidly advances south towards rebel-held area

The Syrian army declared the capture of areas to the south of Palmyra and to the east of Qaryatayn in southeastern Homs province

By: Reuters | Beirut |
Updated: May 25, 2017 9:29:47 pm
syria capture, syria, aleppo, syria conflict, US aleppo, aleppo rebels, syrian rebels, aleppo war, aleppo strikes, world news, syrian news, indian express news Officials say that dozens of Islamic State fighters had been killed in the operation (Source: AP Photo/Representational image)

The Syrian army said it had retaken a swathe of territory from Islamic State in southern Syria on Thursday in a rapid advance near areas held by US-backed Syrian rebels at the border with Jordan and Iraq. The Syrian army on Thursday declared the capture of areas to the south of Palmyra and to the east of Qaryatayn in southeastern Homs province. State TV showed footage of military vehicles including tanks driving through a desert landscape.

The Syrian government said earlier in May that it was a priority to recapture the sparsely populated region known as the Badia where US-backed Syrian rebels seized a vast expanse of territory from Islamic State in March. Tensions flared in the southern region last week when the US-led coalition mounted an air strike against pro-government forces that US officials said posed a threat to US and US-backed Syrian fighters in the area. Washington described the forces as Iranian-directed.

A military source told state news agency SANA that dozens of Islamic State fighters had been killed in the operation that resulted in the destruction of large quantities of weapons and ammunition and followed gains in the same area 48 hours earlier. The advance by the US-backed rebels into the Badia in March was assisted by Islamic State’s retreat to other parts of Syria, where the group is facing separate offensives by U.S.-backed forces and the Russian-backed Syrian army and its allies.

The coalition has been training the rebels to fight Islamic State at a garrison in al-Tanf, a strategically vital location at the intersection of the Jordanian, Iraqi and Syrian borders. An official with one of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel groups operating in southern Syria told Reuters that government forces appeared to be trying to preempt any rebel move towards Deir al-Zor, another priority target for the government.

Best of Express Premium
As one branch shrivels, the Thackeray tree sees another son bloom: Amit, ...Premium
Funding winter sets in for Indian startups, staff out in the cold: Over 1...Premium
New worry in J&K: Officers say militancy entering a ‘secretive, dange...Premium
Cell therapy cancer centre takes shape in Bengaluru, trials are onPremium

“The advances help the regime to widen the security belt around the Damascus and also will pave the way for a (government) push towards Deir al-Zor before the FSA groups by capturing territory in the northeast of the Badia that makes it difficult for (FSA groups) to advance in that direction,” Said Seif, an official in the Shahid Ahmad Abdo FSA group, said. Deir al-Zor province is held mostly by Islamic State. The government still has a foothold in the city of Deir al-Zor, and controls a nearby air base.

Express Explained Go beyond the news. Understand the headlines with our Explained stories

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by