On Saturday, two huge Syrian Arab Army (SAA) convoys brushed aside ISIS resistance in eastern Syria and pushed through several kilometers of desert while pincers tried to meet around the Islamic State bastion of Hamimah.
During this advance, two hills overlooking Hamimah were captured, thereby securing fire control over the ISIS-held area and pressuring jihadist combattants to withdraw. The town is expected to fall within 48 hours, a military source told Al-Masdar News.
The SAA deployed a number of tanks, BMP-1’s, bulldozers and technicals for the large-scale offensive on the provincial border between Homs and Deir Ezzor in a sparsely populated region some 80 kilometers from the Euphrates River.
During the latest advance, at least one ISIS suicide bomber tried in vain to attack the SAA convoys, footage by Amaq Agency reveals.
Meanwhile, the bulldozers began building trenches and sand walls in newly liberated areas to deter any counter-offensive by the Islamic State. In addition, yet not shown on camera, rearguard government engineers finished construction of a new desert highway leading to Iraq, likely to restore trade between the two allied nations.
Long-term, the SAA hopes to secure the T2 Pumping Station as a launching pad to direct two simultaneous government offensives, one looking at relieving the besieged provincial capital of Deir Ezzor with the other striking towards the southern Euphrates River to secure the border city of Abu Kamal.