On day ten (10) of their siege of the Deir Ezzor Military Airport, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) launched a violent attack on the eastern perimeter of the base, attempting to breach the heavily fortified entrance. The ISIS militants were met with fierce resistance from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), who relentlessly berated the approaching enemy with a barrage of gunfire and artillery shells. Unable to withstand the resistance, the ISIS militants pulled back from the Military Airport’s entrance following a fury of machine gun rounds that overwhelmed their exposed forces.
Despite multiple infiltration attempts by ISIS militants, the Deir Ezzor Military Airport siege does not share many similarities with the Tabqa Airbase capture. It took 6 days for ISIS to break-through the SAA’s defenses, but only after the soldiers at the base were advised to prepare for the complete withdrawal from Tabqa; this airport is different because it is not isolated and the SAA controls the roads in the west and the provincial capital.
If the 104th Brigade of the Republican Guard captures Sakr Island, ISIS faces encirclement inside the city of Deir Ezzor that could lead to a counter-offensive and their subsequent withdrawal from the Military Airport in order to fortify their positions in the east.
At Sakr Island, the 104th Brigade – led by Brigadier General Issam Zahreddine – laid a large ambush on ISIS militants that arrived on Sakr Island with a substantial convoy of supplies to assist their embattled combatants fighting the SAA. The ambush was conducted near the eastern bank fisheries after 104th Brigade scouts identified a wave of reinforcements arriving on Sakr Island from the mainland. According to a military source, a total of 18 ISIS militants were killed and another 31 were injured during the ambush.
The ISIS fighters identified among the dead at Sakr Island:
1. Jaber Ghassan Al-Rashid
2. Abu Bakr Al-‘Attass (Tunisian)
3. Taaher Kamaal Ahmad
4. ‘Usama Nouri Al-Sa’eed
5. Hamad Mura’ay Al-‘Attallah
6. ‘Alaa ‘Adnan
7. Bassaam ‘Abboud
8. Musa’ab ‘Abdullah Al-Qahtaani (Iraqi)
9. Ahmad ‘Abdullah Al-‘Ali Al-Saleh
10. Jassim Kamaal Zaher