On August 12, Syrian paratroopers were deployed behind Daesh's positions in 20 km from the battlefront; the operation resulted in the liberation of the town of al-Hadar located on the border between Raqqa and Homs provinces.
"On August 12 night, for the first time since the beginning of hostilities against Daesh terrorist group in Syria, the [Syrian] government forces managed to prepare and conduct a brilliant operation to make a tactical landing in the rear of the militants which resulted in their complete defeat and capture of the settlement of Al-Hadar about 120 kilometers west of the city of Deir ez-Zor," the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Russian Ka-52 combat helicopters conducted strikes in the area to help the Syrian army's campaign.
"With the help of night vision systems, the renowned [Ka-52] Alligators not only effectively directed and corrected the fire of multiple-launch rocket system, but also destroyed [terrorists'] armored vehicles and armed cars," the ministry said.
"In a brief battle, the Syrian paratroopers… destroyed the headquarters and ammunition depots of terrorists, knocked out two [Daesh] tanks and three armored vehicles," the Russian military said.
The Syrian paratroopers were holding the captured positions before the approach of the main forces. "The actions of the tactical landing force and the effectiveness of the fire damage inflicted on Daesh fighters allowed the government troops to seize al-Hadar without losses," the Russian military said.
On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that that Russian military aviation helped the Syrian army liberate Daesh's hotbed in the Homs province, the town of As-Sukhnah. The development paves the way for the operation to free besieged Deir ez-Zor.
The same day, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the Deir ez-Zor liberation would largely mean the successful end of the fight against Daesh.