"Last night ISIS launched a large-scale attack against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and pro-government tribal forces in the southern Raqqah countryside.
According to pro-militant sources, ISIS had deployed elite forces for this advance and even achieved some gains pushing the SAA Tiger Forces and other pro-government units to retreat to the Ghanim Ali-Bishri road. ISIS units reportedly entered the Wadi Ubayd oil field area, Wadi al-Tarab and Rajm Sulayman but were not able to develop the advance further.
Government forces re-grouped and launched a counter-attack to regain the points lost to ISIS. According to some pro-government sources, government troops, led by the Tiger Forces, even did this and regained all lost points.
However, these reports were overestimation. Government forces were not able to reach the outskirts of Maadan.
On Tuesday, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq released few reports claiming that ISIS members killed 50 SAA members and destroyed 3 vehicles as well as captured a battle tank." South Front
What it is that IS thought it was doing last night in counter-attacking some of Syria's best and heaviest units is not clear to me. This counter attack to the NW through the riparian villages could be made at night when stealth and surprise favors the attacker, but the sun usually rises every morning and when that happens the side that has the most weight of fire and armor typically moves forward to grind up the forces that attacked in the night. This series of events is predictable given IS's previous experience with the R+6 forces. So, what are they doing?
At the same time R+6 continues to carve the Uqayribat pocket in west Homs Province into smaller and more digestible pieces. A North-south bisection is underway at the moment. This pocket should be gone in a few days.
This will free up yet more pro-government fighters for commitment elsewhere.
In other news, it now is clear the the HTS attempt to open a path to the IS fighters in the Uqayribat Pocket was a local initiative for which the HTS local commaders have been rebuked and disciplined. pl