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DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:15 A.M.) – On Thursday evening, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) sent over a dozen technicals to the Damascus-Baghdad highway to reinforce contingents bombed by the United States Air Force earlier in the day.

The newly arrived SAA reinforcements will spearhead a drive towards the Al-Tanf border crossing with Iraq alongside the National Defence Forces (NDF), Hezbollah (Lebanese paramilitary), Imam Al-Ali Battalions (Iraqi paramilitary) and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (Syrian paramilitary).

However, government forces must stiffen their salient east of Damascus and deploy anti-aircraft units if they are to avoid renewed attacks from US jets and US-trained Free Syrian Army proxies lurking in the vast Syrian desert.

Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News
Chris Tomson | Al-Masdar News

Meanwhile, SAA units are also advancing against FSA rebels in eastern Sweida, capturing a large swath of rural territory on Thursday.Over 100 SAA soldiers have been killed by US airstrikes, mostly at Deir Ezzor, over the 12 months. Nevertheless, the SAA is yet to conduct a single direct hostility against US troops whom are present in both northern and southern Syria despite vocal objections from Damascus.