By Oliviero Reusser
After recently capturing three strategic locations, most likely hills, near the Jibab Hamad village, government forces have managed to fully capture it in the early hours of July 8th. The map below shows the current situation in the eastern Homs countryside.
This latest advance is part of the offensive in order to take full control of the ardous eastern Homs countryside, an area that is mostly desert and hills. The goal is to secure the northern flank of Palmyra and the supply route towards it, aswell as eventually taking control of the highway connecting Salamiyah and Palmyra. If this whole area is captured, the connection between Homs and Aleppo would be secured even further and deprave ISIS of an important staging area for small raids and surprise attacks, which regularly result in weapon captures used to sustain other military operations by ISIS.
Advancing at a slow pace, the government forces want to continue advancing northwards and eventually reach Jubb al-Jarah and capture all the villages on the road south of it.