BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:25 A.M.) – The last 48 hours in Deir Ezzor have been critical for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as they find themselves facing the largest Islamic State (ISIS) assault of the year.

On Sunday, the Islamic State forces simultaneously stormed several sites around the Deir Ezzor Military Base and Panorama Roundabout, resulting in a series of intense clashes that lasted for most of the day.

ISIS managed to capture a number of points from the Syrian Army during this assault, advancing past the engineer housing to the northern perimeter of the Deir Ezzor Military Airport for the first time in a year.

Luckily, the Syrian Army was able to counter before day-end and reestablish control over the points northwest of the helicopter fields, forcing the terrorist forces to regroup away from the government’s front-lines.

Despite claims that ISIS captured the Al-Assad Hospital, local sources told Al-Masdar News on Sunday evening that the terrorist group never entered this medical facility.

Intense clashes are expected to resume in the coming hours, as the Islamic State looks to completely besiege the Deir Ezzor Airport from all sides.

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Janjak Desalin 1804
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Janjak Desalin 1804

As I anticipated, back on 12-22-16: “Unfortunately, Deir ez Zor will become the most pressing front and the most practical means of relieving this outpost would be by an airborne reinforcement. I don’t think that the option for a Kuweires type overland relief campaign seems practical, given recent SAA performance. Though their armor suggests the capability for a mechanized assault across ~200 km of desert, so far, they haven’t attempted anything so ambitious (though they should). I’ve predicted previously that, as ISIS is increasingly pressured from the north (Rakkah), northwest (Aleppo – Al Bab), and northeast (Mosul/Nineveh), and with the… Read more »

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Simon Gunson

If I could give you a dozen likes i would. Very intelligent thesis

Janjak Desalin 1804
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Janjak Desalin 1804

Oh well!

Paul Antonopoulos just posted this in the Iraq archives which reports that the Iraqi pressure on ISIL from the southeast (in Syria) is on hold ’til the Mosul op is completed!

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/civilian-hostages-booby-traps-slow-down-west-anbar-liberation-from-isis/

Too bad!

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Stern Daler

Yes very bad. It will remove pressure and frees IS reserves for other battles.

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Stern Daler

Yes absolutely. It was expected that IS might concentrate on Deir Azor. 02.12.2016 http://www.wsj.com/articles/islamic-state-girds-to-defend-remote-syria-outpost-1480674601 (If WSJ bars You to read all, mark a little text, search it in Google, go back via the Google link. If Google is referrer You can read all.) I wrote the same day in a comment on Sputnik “The only region that is not under attack and produces both oil and food is Deir Ezzor. Additionally it is more remote from air fields. IS will have to concentrate & does already in Deir Ezzor.” p.s. The offensives on Mosul and Raqqa are possibly intended by… Read more »

Janjak Desalin 1804
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Janjak Desalin 1804

Great article. The authors and I share many analytical perspectives. However, the distinction between our perspectives is that their focus is on ISIS’ efforts to hold the territory they already control in Deir ez Zor Governorate (defense) while mine is on ISIS’ efforts to take territory they don’t already control in Deir ez Zor city (offense). The territory that ISIS already controls, while significant, is a consideration that has been and can be held in abeyance, as the lack of SAAF (armed forces, not air force) offensive operations in the area indicate. The territory they don’t already control, in Deir… Read more »

Janjak Desalin 1804
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Janjak Desalin 1804

And, not to brag, but this post, from sinodefenceforum on November of 2015, illustrates that I’ve anticipated the strategic significance of this theater for a year, at least! “If this reporting is accurate, it confirms my assertion that ISIL’s does not have long in Syria. They won’t last, long, at Deir Ez Zur, either. I Expect to see them running, next, for Al-Bukamal/Abu Kamal, southeast of Deir Ez Zur, on the same highway 4, at the border with Iraq. This is about as far from the Russian airbase in Jableh (not that this will help anymore) and Assad Regime Ground… Read more »

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Stern Daler

I agree. But the real target in Deir Azzor city is the air port. The want that to have no air port near by. They would like the town too, for the same reason the SAA tries to get besieged place. IT frees manpower. 1 defender ties up three attackers.

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john perkins

syrian Army need to focus on deir ezzor, first capture palmyra and then quickly advance towards deir ezzor to make isis off from deir ezzor city

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john perkins

please font forget if deir ezzor falls then isis terrorist will do mass excecution , there will be massacre, so save deir ezzor

Amos Yee
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Amos Yee

The USA has quietly sent large loads of weapons during the last 3-4 weeks to the region. Suddenly, so many IS soldiers are attacking and succeeding against SAA and Air forces. Imagine is IS had planes?!

It is time for tactical nukes!