The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) launched a large-scale offensive in the Deir Ezzor Governorate, targeting the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) stronghold at the Deir Ezzor Military Airport and the surrounding residential quarters in the vicinity of this area. ISIS forces from the Al-Hasakah (Syria) and the Al-Anbar (Iraq) Governorates arrived in time to begin the offensive with their embattled comrades entrenched on Sakr Island.
Yesterday, ISIS was able to infiltrate the SAA’s defenses at the Aquarium and the Deir Ezzor Water Tower, forcing the latter to withdraw from their positions and retreat towards the Military Airport. ISIS would then attack SAA positions at the Al-Mari’ayyi and Al-Rusaafa Quarters, where they would seek to continue their push towards the Military Airport in order to link-up with the other combatants. Initially, ISIS was successful in capturing Al-Mari’ayyi and advancing to the nearby Al-Jafra Quarter; however, an SAA counter-attack last night reversed part of these gains.
Despite conflicting reports, ISIS media outlets have claimed that their fighters captured the school building in Al-Jafra – there has been no proof to this claim and this is vehemently denied by SAA sources. ISIS media outlets also claimed that their fighters have captured Sakr Island; this proved inaccurate as SAA sources have reported from the island. A Syrian Arab Army soldier was captured and then summarily beheaded by ISIS fighters that later posted photos to mock the young man on ISIS social media sites.
Contrary to ISIS’ news of victory, sources from the Syrian Arab Army’s 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard have reported that Al-Mari’ayyi is not under ISIS control and that very little fighting took place at the Al-Jafra Quarter. Earlier today, the 104th Brigade had a crackdown on a large contingent of ISIS fighters, killing over 20 militants in the battle and seizing 3 vehicles from the latter. The SAA is currently combatting ISIS militants inside Al-Mari’ayyi, where reinforcements from the National Defense Forces (NDF) have arrived to thwart the enemy combatants from the area.
At Sakr Island, ISIS forces received much needed reinforcements and supplies from a supply boat on the Euphrates River; this was followed by a counter-offensive on the 104th Brigade soldiers that were holed-up at Central Park. ISIS was able to take control of a landing dock on the eastern part of the island along with one of the suspension bridges that links to the eastern mainland. The Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) has since launched a multitude of airstrikes that succored the 104th Brigade in retaking parts of the island lost to the militants. According to a military source, the 104th Brigade captured an Iraqi Army T-55 Tank (headline picture) from ISIS’ possession after a fierce firefight on the island this morning.
Identified ISIS fighters killed at Sakr Island:
1. ‘Awad Al-‘Abdaman
2. ‘Abdel-Majeed ‘Adnaan
3. Khaled Marwaan Jaloud
4. Abu ‘Abdel-Rahman Al-‘Urdoni (Jordanian)
Yesterday night, a Libyan ISIS fighter committed a suicide car bomb attack on a Syrian Arab Army checkpoint in the Al-Rusaafa District; it was unsuccessful – the man identified as the suicide bomber was “Abu Hafeeza Al-Leebi”. The SAA has maintained their positions in the Al-Rusaafa Quarter, where they are currently experiencing a persistent attack by a determined ISIS force attempting to breach their frontline defenses. Earlier today, a Syrian military source reported that 9 militants from ISIS were killed and another 21 were wounded during an intense firefight. He also added that 2 BMBs and 3 pick-up trucks fitted with anti-aircraft weapons were destroyed in the process.
Identified ISIS fighters killed Al-Mari’ayyi:
1. ‘Abdel-Had Mohammad Al-Shalaash
2. ‘Abdel-‘Aziz Al-Faraaj Al-Hindi
3. ‘Abdel-Qader Yousif Al-Mustafa
4. Hamza Ziad Al-Moussa
5. ‘Abdullah Al-Younis
6. ‘Abdel-Haqq Al-‘Osmaan
7. ‘Aboud Al-Mohammad Al-‘Abid Al-‘Afaara
8. Mohammad ‘Issa Al-Jaloud
9. ‘Abdel-Majeed Ahmad Al-Hashtar
10. Faysal Ghazi Al-‘Ameer
11. Ahmad Mohammad Al-Moussa
12. Qassim Moussa Al-Jaloud
13. Ammaar Ahmad Al-Hamid
14. Ibn Yasseen Al-‘Ajraawi
15. ‘Abdullah Al-Hamid Al-Ali Al-Wareedi
16. Hamza Mohammad Jaraah
17. Ghassan Yasseen Al-Halaal