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On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies announced start of the Operation “Grand Dawn” aimed at liberating the eastern Syrian desert from militants. The “Grand Dawn” operation will reportedly become the biggest operation against ISIS in Syria.
The SAA has already damaged the offensive capabilities of ISIS in central and southern Syria, and prevented the US-led coalition from threatening the capital Damascus.
According to the Hezbolalh media wing in Syria, the SAA and its allies have so far managed to capture more than 1,300 square kilometers in the area between Palmyra city and the eastern Qalamoun area.
The SAA and its allies continued advancing and managed to take full control of the strategic Palmyra-Damascus highway. The SAA liberated the Abu Dali mountain, Thaniat al-Manqora, Kasarat al-Manqora, Thaniat Wadha, Al-Anibah triangle and Kan Atiba.
In the course of its advance, the SAA captured the villages of Sawanah and Khanifis. According to unconfirmed reports, the SAA also managed to capture the village of Olayana south of Palmyra after the withdrawal of the Syrian Free Army (FSA) from it.
Through this great advance, the SAA has eliminated ISIS forces between the southern Palmyra countryside and eastern Qalamoun. Moreover, it has besieged Jaish al-Islam militants in eastern Qalamoun ,as well as foiled a possible Free Syrian Army advance towards Damascus.
Photos showing the government advance in the province of Homs (source):