(Zaman Al Wasl)- We do not contradict the truth if we say that 2016 is ISIS year in Homs Province. ISIS surprise attacks on Homs eastern countryside confused the regime and its mercenaries and their strategic alley, Russia. ISIS caused huge loss for regime in souls and military gear estimated by 3000 killed and injured by military experts in addition to regime loss of 3 million cubic meters of gas daily which used to be produced by Hayan Factory.
The production equals 25% of regime supplies of gas to power stations on daily basis. Also, ISIS captured the most important gas fields in Syria, Shaer-al-Maher-Jazal-Hajar and their daily production is estimated to be more than 12 million cubic meters daily.
The first weeks of 2016 witnessed fierce battles between regime and its mercenaries and Syrian resistance in Homs northern countryside and Hama southern countryside.
The regime as able to capture villages in Hama southern countryside in the first month and cut supply roads connecting between besieged Homs northern countryside with Syrian north. Also, regime’s militias tightened noose on the besieged civilians and banned fuel and food items which were smuggled in from Hama city.
In the beginning of February, regime wanted to capture all the villages in Hama southern countryside adjacent to Homs northern countryside. Regime warplanes in cooperation with Russian air force launched more than one thousand raids and bombed Hur binafsah village and all the cities and towns of Homs northern countryside using all types of weapons including internationally prohibited ones.
Regime forces launched more than 20 ground attacks during the first half of 2016 to capture Hur binafsah which is considered an area to which 15 pro-regime villages are connected; however, Syrian resistance was able to stand against the regime in Homs northern countryside and Hama southern countryside foiling regime attempts and its militias to capture the village of Hur binafsah and Kayseen village in Homs northern countryside. The regime attempted to capture in the villages in order to separate the towns of al-Houleh from the rest of cities and towns of Homs northern countryside.
Syrian resistance captured in May pro-regime village al-Zara and secured the only road connecting Homs western northern countryside with al-Rastan and Talbise cities and caused huge regime loss of more than 300 killed and 200 injured.
Al-Zara village, 2 Km north of al-Rastan, is considered the second loyal village to regime captured by the resistance in Homs northern countryside and Hama southern countryside after al-Ameriye village in al-Salamiye western countryside.
What distinguishes 2016 from the rest of revolution years for 250000 people living in besieged Homs northern countryside since 5 years is the year being the UN aid year. 17 humanitarian convoy entered the towns of the besieged countryside carrying flour, and food items.
Al-Houleh towns complex received 5 humanitarian convoys during the year. Tir Malaa received 55 convoys as well whereas Talbisa received 4 convoys and al-Rastan 3 convoys only during the year. The UN aid convoys contributed to decrease of the effects of the siege imposed on people by regime and its militias.
Al-Waer besieged neighborhood in Homs, the last Syrian resistance strongholds in the city, witnessed difficult days during 2016 where nearly 1000 fighters were forcibly displaced with their families to the Syrian north and Homs northern countryside. The neighborhood still suffers from a suffocating blockade and bombing with all types of weapons which led to increase in destruction of its houses to reach more than 70% like the situation of Homs northern countryside where destruction reached 70%, too.
What distinguishes 2016 also is the ceasefire resolution in Syria which was achieved end of February between Washington and Moscow. Later, it was clear that the main objective is to recapture Palmyra where the regime during the first hours of ceasefire withdrew personnel and military gear from its checkpoints spread in Syria and went to Homs eastern countryside to recapture Palmyra from ISIS. Regime forces were able to recapture Palmyra in March, one month after signing the UN truce. The regime by aerial and ground support from Russia was able to expel ISIS personnel who captured Palmyra in May 2015.
In the last month of 2016, ISIS put its flags again over Palmyra Citadel and captured the most important gas fields in Syria located in Palmyra west northern countryside. ISIS now encircles regime’s biggest military airport Tifour from all sides which horrified pro-regime neighborhoods in Homs especially that ISIS is near to al-Faraqlus town, 35 Km east of Homs city.