DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:30 P.M.) – Islamic State commanders have gone all-in to capture the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, throwing waves of adolescent militants at the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) across several points.
According to a military source close to Al-Masdar News, clashes have continued non-stop across Deir Ezzor for over 20 hours and are yet to calm down. Despite tremendous pressure and unprecedented skirmishes, the SAA has been able repel all ISIS attacks on Syriatel hill, Sannouf hill, Barouk hill and the Panorama roundabout.
Thus far, at least 50 ISIS militants have been killed and approximately 10 injured. Amid the failed attacks, six pickup truck fitted with 23mm guns were destroyed while airstrikes eliminated an artillery gun and two mortar positions.
However, intelligence reports indicate that ISIS is preparing to intensify its offensive on the government-held Panorama roundabout after they managed to capture the adjacent Panorama Farms and Panorama School earlier this week.
With the SAA meanwhile gaining ground against the Islamic State in Homs, Hama and Aleppo, ISIS hopes to wrestle control of Deir Ezzor city with overwhelming manpower.
If they succeed in doing so, the caliphate will not only be gifted a major symbolic and military victory but also free up over ten thousand fighters for frontlines elsewhere.
In addition, the fall of Deir Ezzor would discourage SAA contingents in central Syria from pushing eastwards through the sparsely populated desert en route to Deir Ezzor.