It has been no secret that the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) plans to expand their self-proclaimed “Caliphate” in the countries of Syria and Iraq; however, the terrorist organization has ran into some road bumps along the way, as the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and National Defense Forces (NDF) continue to maintain control over the provincial capitals of Al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor.
Last June, the militants from ISIS shocked the world with their capture of the Nineveh Governorate’s provincial capital (Mosul) after a short battle with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF); this resulted in the mass diaspora of civilians from Mosul and the brutal execution of bystanders for hyperbolized “crimes” and falsified events that the militants of ISIS used as their justification for their random acts of violence.
With the recent capture of Al-Ramadi in the Al-‘Anbar Governorate, the militants of ISIS have now taken complete control of two provincial capitals in western Iraq, leaving the two provincial capitals of Al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor as their last remaining obstacles that are obstructing their forces in Syria and Iraq from linking up.
On Wednesday morning, ISIS launched an assault on the Al-Hasakah village of Al-Abyad, where they attempted to infiltrate past the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) frontline defenses after a rogue suicide bomber was caught by the Syrian Armed Forces’ soldiers during his failed mission that was eventually foiled before he could reach his destination.
The SAA’s 154th Artillery Brigade of the 4th Mechanized Division proved to be the game changer for this battle in southern Al-Hasakah, as the latter killed over 20 enemy combatants on the main road leading to the village of Al-Abyad.
Al-Hasakah City was declared under complete control of the Syrian Arab Army at the end-of-the-day on Wednesday; this forced the former to prepare a strategy at the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor, where they once again attempted to infiltrate into the Military Airport.
Luckily, the observant soldiers at the Deir Ezzor Military Airport were able to repel the powerful ISIS assault from the eastern corridor of the base, resulting in their eventual withdrawal before nightfall on Wednesday.
To counter this ISIS assault in Deir Ezzor, the Syrian Arab Army’s 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard – in coordination with the 123rd Brigade and the 137th Brigade – launched a powerful attack on the Al-Haweeqa and Al-Rashidiyah Quarters of the city, killing a confirmed 19 enemy combatants and destroying 4 of their armored vehicles that were mounted with a variety of anti-aircraft machine guns.