"DAMASCUS, SYRIA (8:20 P.M.) – Late on Friday afternoon, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Hezbollah and allied Iraqi paramilitary contingents dashed through southeastern Homs and reached an Iraqi border point, thus slicing adrift the frontline between rebel forces based in the Al-Tanf region and ISIS militants in the neighboring Deir Ezzor governorate.
Unopposed by the US Air Force and its vetted Syrian proxies, the SAA and its allies drove through over 40 kilometers of abandoned desert territory and managed to link up with an Iraqi garrison across the border.
The advance was confirmed by the Russian Ministry of Defense and an Hezbollah-linked outlet moments ago.
Effectively, the SAA is now able to reopen trade between Damascus and Baghdad. Government forces have not controlled any parts of the largely ISIS-controlled border with Iraq since 2014.
In addition, Hezbollah is now able to be supplied with weapons from Tehran via an all-important land route. Previously, the Lebanese group relied on complicated airlifts for new armaments.” (Al Masdar News)
I thought this might be the next move and here it is. Leith Fadel also reports there was some kind of agreement between Washington and Moscow to let this happen. I don’t think we (the US) had much of a choice in this. The R+6 called our bluff and we blinked. I think it is significant that the SAA and Hezbollah column that made the 40 km dash to the border linked up with the Iraqi PMU. I would now consider the R+6 as the R+7.
What’s next? This map shown during a Russian MOD briefing says it all. The R+6 intends to continue the drive east to secure the Iraqi-Syrian border and capture Al Bukamal.
In other news, that big Druze SOB and his boys are still holding on in Deir Ezzor despite the best efforts of the IS jihadis. Relief is on the way.