BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:10 P.M.) – Dozens of ISIS militants were either drowned or shot dead as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) launched a series of attacks against jihadists across the eastern city of Deir Ezzor on Friday.
Targeting Islamist insurgents on the Euphrates river, the SAA’s 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard destroyed seven Islamic State boats at the Al-Sabha dock area and Al-Mariyah crossing of the provincial capital. In addition, a stationary ISIS bulldozer was destroyed by an anti-tank missile in the area.
With all bridges destroyed linking eastern Deir Ezzor with its western counterpart, ISIS depends entirely on boats to haul in supplies, ammunition and reinforcements to the frontier, leaving jihadist fighters exposed as sitting ducks to the SAA’s firepower.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) was called in yet again following the discovery of an ISIS command centre near the Al-Halbiyah roundabout. Subsequently, the SyAAF conducted several sorties on the Islamist headquarters, leaving an undetermined number of ISIS combattants buried beneath the rubble.
A Syrian air raid also struck a gathering of Islamic State fighters at the rural town of Al-Hatlah, killing an additional five jihadists in the process.
In the southern sector of Deir Ezzor, four ISIS militants were killed due to a bombardment unleashed by the SAA’s 137th Artillery Regiment. The latter also destroyed an fuel truck, an ISIS tank and an armored truck near the Taim School road.
Furthermore, Russian airstrikes targeted ISIS positions at Al-Thardah mountain, the Al-Baghiliyah district and the towns of Al-Hussainyah and Ayash.
On the other hand, ISIS executed a weapons smuggler called Abou Qabs in the northern Deir Ezzor countryside – no information was given as to why. Three civilians were also killed in cold blood in rural areas east of Deir Ezzor, accused of helping local residents flee from the Islamic State’s rule.
Recently, a convoy of Iraqi ISIS reinforcements were spotted arriving in Deir Ezzor in a last-ditch bid to defeat the SAA in the city and establish Deir Ezzor as an alternative capital.
Between 50 and 100 ISIS fighters are estimated to have been neutralized by the SAA over the past 24 hours in Deir Ezzor.