The fall of the ancient city of Palmyra, held by ISIS since May, to the Syrian military last month appears to have set the stage for more gains, as a major ISIS supply route in the southeast has effectively been closed.
This has made several of ISIS’ most remote towns, particularly those in the Homs Province, difficult to defend, and the Syrian military wasted no time capturing the key town of al-Qaryatayn, west of Palmyra, adding pressure to this area.
Palmyra won’t really be under Syrian military control for some time, as there are thousands of land mines to be cleared out. Still, the road around it is in military hands, and that’s a big loss for this area, and will likely force ISIS to either try to advance back into Palmyra in short order or cede its Homs possessions outright.
ISIS still holds much of eastern Syria, including Raqqa and virtually the whole Deir Ezzor Province. That, along with their holdings in Iraq, still makes them a major power in the region, despite recent losses in both Iraq and Syria.