Backed by Russian airstrikes, the Syrian military offensive in the Homs Province seems to be making some headway, retaking the towns of Mahin and Hawwarin, some 40 miles southeast of Homs, and expelling ISIS from the area.
ISIS had been making gains in that part of Homs prior to the new offensive, aiming to cut off the main highway between Homs and Damascus. The Syrian military claimed a large number of ISIS were killed in today’s fighting, but did not offer numbers.
This was some of ISIS’ westernmost territory, and the first major target of the Russian-backed offensive, which has mostly centered on securing the western part of the country. Overwhelmingly, ISIS territory is in eastern Syria, but a full-scale offensive against that territory is likely to take some time.
Though the next target is Qaryatin, just outside of Mahin, Syrian troops are also said to be approaching Tadmur and Palmyra, a much more significant territorial possession because of the high-profile of ISIS’ capture of ancient Palmyria in the media.