BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 A.M.) – The battle for Deir Ezzor is still months away, but the current clashes taking place across the Syrian Desert are providing a frightening glimpse into what is to come in the near future.
The Islamic State (ISIL) has lost a significant amount of territory in central and northern Syria; however, this was expected given the vast amount of desert landscape that was under their control.
With the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) closing in on the town of ‘Uqayrbat in east Hama, the Islamic State decided to send a large number of their forces from this region to the Homs-Deir Ezzor provincial border.
ISIL’s reinforcements didn’t waste time getting acclimated, as their forces gave the Syrian Arab Army the first taste of what is to come once the battle for Deir Ezzor begins.
Islamic State fighters stormed the SAA’s positions in the Humaymah area, killing a total of 22 soldiers and wounding more than 40 others that were participating in the battle.
While the Syrian Army was able to fend off the ISIL assault, their casualty toll was demoralizing for the troops deployed in this region.
The days of ISIL retreating to the desert are now over; they have nowhere to go anymore, as Deir Ezzor becomes their last stomping ground in Syria.