The Syrian army recaptured the balance of Aleppo province in North Central Syria earlier in the week.  This report from Southfront has the details.

Editor’s Note: Southfront is fantastic for getting day-to-day updates of what’s happening in Syria. All you need to know is that Google hates them. That’s why there’s no YouTube link, they’ve been banned for getting the truth across political borders.

This is truly a race now between US/Kurdish forces besieging Raqqa and the Syria Army coalition trying to cut them off from reinforcing ISIS at Deir Ezzor in the Southeast. The U.S. is desperate to salvage the partitioning of Syria into multiple fragmented states with us controlling the local government and building bases there to threaten Russia and Iran.

Putin, for his part, understands all of this and is fighting a multi-front war of attrition to not be encircled and destroyed by U.S. proxy forces like ISIS eventually. The Russian southern border is vulnerable to increased Islamic terrorism. And this has always been the end-game for U.S. foreign policy; to prevent Russia and China from uniting central Asia in a big free trade and commerce zone that would bring the region out of the 19th century.

The goal now for the Syrian Army is to push West and capture the area (off the map to the south) between Ithriya and Palmyra. From there is is a matter of capping the SDF (yellow) advance south of Raqqa (far right of map) to seal off their advance to Deir Ezzor (not shown).