The battle for Deir Ezzor has been nothing short of gruesome, with both the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard (Al-Harss Al-Jamhouri) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) fighting one another for parcels of territory around the province. The battle’s concentration recently shifted to the northern part of the province, where the 104th Brigade and ISIS both launched offensives.
ISIS’ imperative siege of Radio Hill began on the same day as the 104th Brigade’s assault at the village of ‘Ayyash in northern Deir Ezzor – both offensives are still ongoing. ISIS has been unable to penetrate the SAA’s frontline defense at Radio Hill; meanwhile, the SAA is now in control of 70 percent of ‘Ayyash after multiple attacks in the last 48 hours on the enemy combatants entrenched in the eastern perimeter of the village.
The 104th Brigade – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and local tribes – confronted a number of ISIS militants in the following areas of the provincial capital: Al-Rusafa, Al-Haweeqa, Al-Hussiniyyeh, and Al-Khareeta Quarters. According to a military source, the firefights died-down once later in the evening following fierce clashes that consumed most of the day. The source further added that numerous militants were killed during the clashes, including Musa’ab Abu Ibrahim (Egyptian), Ra’ed Jama’a Al-Hamid, and ‘Fouad ‘Issa Hamdaan.
At Sakr Island (Haweeja Sakr), the 104th Brigade engaged a large group of ISIS militants in the northern district, killing scores of the enemy combatants and destroying 3 pickup trucks with mounted 23mm anti-aircraft machine guns. Among the identified ISIS casualties were the following: Hazim Hussein Al-Khalif, Jihaad ‘Awada Al-Saleh, and Zakaria Daawoud Al-Hammoud.