Syrian War Report – June 23, 2017: Army Regaining More Ground Near Palmyra

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…from SouthFront

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the National Defense Forces (NDF) and other pro-government factions have further advanced against ISIS and US-backed militants in the province of Homs. On Thursday, government troops captured Tal Ghurab northwest of the US garrison of Zquf near the Syrian-Iraqi border. With the liberation of Tal Ghurab, the SAA and its allies increased pressure on US-backed militants operating in the area and strengthened the Syrian military position at the border with Iraq.

Separately, the SAA and the NDF captured Zahar Abah and clashes with ISIS at the Arak gas fields area. ISIS militants fiercely defend their positions east of Palmyra.

In the province of Raqqah, the SAA and the NDF have resumed attempts to re-take the Ithriyah-Resafa road from ISIS terrorists. An intense fighting is ongoing.

Earlier this week, the SAA seized a large ISIS workshop in Resafa, capturing a notable number of battle tanks and other equipment.

Turkey, Russia and Iran have been working on a plan to deploy their troops in de-escalation areas in Syria, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told media on Thursday.

“We will probably be most prominent in the Idlib region with the Russians; mostly Russia and Iran around Damascus, and a mechanism involving the Americans and Jordan in the south in the Daraa region is being worked on,” Ibrahim Kalin said, adding that the sides will further discuss the de-escalation agreement during talks in the Kazakh capital Astana in early July.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Shamanov, head of the defense committee at Russia’s State Duma said that Moscow has been negotiating with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan suggesting them to deploy some forces into the recently established de-escalation zones.

Russia, Turkey and Iran signed a deal in Astana on May 4 to establish four de-escalation zones in order to minimize violence in the war-torn country.

On Thursday, reports appeared that the government and militants operating in Daraa have reached comprehensive reconciliation agreement and the SAA may re-establish control over the border with Jordan in the area. However, these reports were not confirmed by government officials. Clashes in the area continued.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued an advance south of Raqqah, capturing Al-Kamb from ISIS. If the SDF seizes Mustajid Naqib, ISIS units will be fully encircled inside the city. ISIS launched a series of counter-attacks in Raqqah but didn’t regain any large areas.

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