Ankara builds barracks and checkpoints along the M4 east of the country. There is a fear of an escalation. In Idlib, Russia hits Failaq Al-Sham (the Sham Legion)’s heart.
In Syria there is a mysterious group, called the Sand Hippos, which attack both Isis and the Iranian militiamen at Homs and Deir Ezzor. The group is independent from the International Coalition and from the SDF, although sometimes they give them a hand
Isis in Syria has a new mysterious enemy, which also attacks the Iranian forces allied to the regime. Various intelligence sources say that they have been given a nickname: Sand Hippos. This unidentified group operates essentially in the south and in the east, striking targets of the Islamic State and of the paramilitary militias. From Al-Tanf to Homs up-to Hajin at Deir Ezzor and further north. Its characteristic is that it is precise, fast and invisible. When locals talk about the group, they just say “Woosh”, mimicking something that has just passed very rapidly. They certainly are not part of the Global Coalition, nor of the SDF. Proof is that in several cases they hit targets distant from the ones of Operation Round Up (Jazeera Storm). However, the Sand Hippos are not either against them. In many instances there have been strikes against the jihadists, which have benefited the Arab-Kurdish forces.
Meanwhile, the Liwa al-Quds launches the offensive against the Islamic State at Badia, while awaiting for the maneuvers of the Syrian army (SAA) to begin. Daesh reacts with leaflets and raids, but in vain
In the meantime, the Liwa al-Quds (the Jerusalem Brigade) started to attack Isis in the Badia desert. The paramilitary militia launched the offensive against the Islamic State in the western area at Homs, with the objective to proceed towards the centre. In parallel, the Syrian army (SAA) is sending troops to the area to start the maneuvers on the east side (Mayadeen-Abu Kamal). In this way, the militiamen of the Islamic State would be crushed between the two forces. However, it is mot clear when the soldiers will start the operation. There is talk of September, but no date has yet been formalized. Meanwhile, Daesh is trying to react to the Operation Round Up by distributing some leaflets, where they remind which words and objects are forbidden, as well as by carrying out raids against the SDF. These, however, have all been stopped by the Arab-Kurdish forces.