Two days ago, the Islamic State reinforcements from the Ar-Raqqa Governate reached their comrades at Deir ez-Zor Military Airport, where the Syrian Arab Army is currently under siege. 1,400 soldiers from the elite 104th Brigade of the Syrian Arab Army’s Republican Guard is entrenched at this airport, combatting over 3,000 Islamic State fighters besieging the area. Despite the numerical disadvantage, the Republican Guard is backed by the Syrian Air Force. The Syrian Air Force carried out 63 airstrikes on Monday, targeting Islamic State militants all over Deir ez-Zor and southern Al-Hasakah. Brigadier General Issam Zahreddine is leading the operations for the Syrian Arab Army, while the Islamic State is led by the Jabhat Al-Nusra defector, ‘Amer Al-Rafdan.
The Islamic State has launched a wave of attacks at the eastern perimeter of the Deir ez-Zor Military Airport, with the majority of attacks coming from the village of Al-Jaffra on the Euphrates River. Very similar to Tabqa Airbase, the Islamic State will rely on VBEID strikes and relentless bombardments aimed at penetrating the SAA’s frontline defenses. However, Deir ez-Zor Military Airport’s terrain differs from that of Tabqa Airbase, as the latter’s landscape was relatively flat and wide open. Unlike Tabqa Airbase, Deir ez-Zor Military Airport is not encircled; it is only besieged by the Islamic State from the eastern perimeter.
Deir ez-Zor Military Airport:
On Monday morning, the Syrian Air Force was the first to strike, as 18 airstrikes were conducted to destroy a weapons depot and checkpoints within the vicinity of the airport. The Islamic State suffered heavy casualties, including the I.S. field commander, Yousif Al-Qazubeeri (AKA “Abu Dajaana”), who was killed by an airstrike yesterday morning. The Islamic State attacked immediately after the commencement of airstrikes, as they attempted to breakthrough SAA defenses at the airport. The SAA successfully repelled the attack, killing at least 40 militants in the process. A military source provided the names of the Islamic State casualties he received:
- “Abu Al-Harith ‘Ayyash” – Libyan
- “Abu Zayd Al-Leebi” – Libyan
- “Abu Musa’ab Al-Tunisi” – Tunisian
- “Abu Bilal Al-Masri” – Egyptian
- “Abu Maria Al-‘Iraqi” – Iraqi from New ‘Akeedat
- Abboud Al-‘Afees
- “Abu Assad Al-Jazraqi” – Saudi
- “Abu Azzam Al-Iraqi” – Iraqi
- “Abu ‘Umar Al-Baghdadi” – Iraqi
- “Abu Jihad Al-Baljeeki” – Iraqi
- “Abu Mohsen Al-Tunisi” – Tunisian from Belgium
South of the Deir ez-Zor Military Airport, the Syrian Air Force destroyed 13 tanks belonging to the Islamic State in the village of Mouhassan. Two days prior, the Syrian Air Force killed the Islamic State Emir, “Abu ‘Anas Al-Tunisi” (Tunisian) during a late afternoon bombardment. In the last three days, over 60 members of the Islamic State have been killed by airstrikes. If the Syrian Arab Army can advance from the Deir ez-Zor Military Airport, Mouhassan will be an imperative area to capture due to its large presence of Islamic State fighters.
Over 40 members of the Islamic State were killed in an airstrike conducted by the Syrian Air Force yesterday. The Syrian Air Force targeted a large convoy of trucks heading in the direction of the Deir ez-Zor Military Airport. The convoy had at least 20 vehicles loaded with 23mm machine gun turrets.
The Syrian Arab Army killed 9 members of the Islamic State on the outskirts of this district, after the I.S. militants attempted to infiltrate from the east. Here are the names of the militants with identification:
- Bassam ‘Alloush
- Salih Mahdi Al-‘Abid
- Adham Malahimeed
- ‘Amer Hawas
- Nassar ‘Abdul-Salih
4 others did not have identification.