BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:40 P.M.) – The ongoing battle between Syrian pro-government forces and the Islamic State terrorist group in southern Deir Ezzor province has more-or-less reached the peak of its intensity as the former attempts to secure a key military infrastructure in the region.
The battle by pro-government forces to capture the T-2 complex (airbase and pumping station) from ISIS has been raging for months, although only now with the their full commitment to this effort is the engagement now in full gear.
Combat in this region of Syria is witnessing two belligerents of very different battle doctrine philosophies face off over a flat, featureless desert terrain that allows for the maximum exploitation of mobile forces be it in offense of defense.
Whilst pro-government forces (including the Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah and Iranian-backed militias) acting on the offensive rely heavily on mechanized military assets and mass frontal assaults, the ISIS terrorist group – less generously equipped and out-manned – fighting defensively relies on mobile hit-and-run attacks to knock threatening enemy spearheads off-balance before they gain too much momentum.
Should pro-government forces secure the T-2 airbase, then the way to strategic towns like Abu Kamal near the Iraqi border will have been burst open. Furthermore, such an advance would limit the ability of ISIS to launch sporadic raids along the As-Sukhnah to Deir Ezzor road and assist other Syrian Army formations fighting their way down Euphrates River via Al-Mayadeen.