The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has suffered heavy casualties from aerial bombardments and firefights around Syria and Iraq this week. The U.S. began the wave of airstrikes aimed at ISIS positions on Monday morning, targeting strongholds primarily in the Ar-Raqqa Governate. Since Monday, the Anti-ISIS Coalition has expanded their airstrikes to five provinces in Syria; killing scores of ISIS militants in the process. In conjunction with airstrikes, U.S. President Barack Obama recently stated that the airstrikes are open-ended and that there is no timetable for the strikes to cease on ISIS targets.
As a result of the flurry of airstrikes targeting the Tabqa Airbase and the surrounding areas, ISIS has begun to evacuate a large number of fighters from this front. A recent tomahawk missile strike on Monday morning at the National Hospital resulted in the death of over 60 militants; this attack was the genesis of things to come in the following days. With a large presence of fighters in the vicinity of the Tabqa Airbase, ISIS militants remaining at the base are vulnerable to the heavy bombardments from the opposing aircraft.
Deir Ezzor Governate:
Anti-ISIS Coalition air raids have specifically targeted ISIS in the Abukamal District of Deir Ezzor; this is an area where the latter is currently combatting local tribes for power. Activists on the ground have also reported a large withdrawal of ISIS fighters from the Al-Mayadeen District that borders Abukamal; it is proving very difficult for ISIS to maintain control over areas that are being targeted by persistent airstrikes.
Meanwhile in west Deir Ezzor, the Syrian Arab Army’s 104th Brigade of the Republican Guard continues to combat ISIS militants besieging parts of the district. However, the battle-tested soldiers in the district continue to repel the constant barrage of infiltration attempts to breach the SAA frontlines. Yesterday, the Republican Guard killed over 80 ISIS fighters in Al-Haweeqa, Deir Ezzor Military Airport, Al-Rashidiyya Quarter, Old Airport District, and Al-Sana’a.
ISIS casualties that were identified:
• ‘Abdullah Al-Labataani (‘Iraqi)
• Teiseer Al-Hajj Hassan (Syrian from Ar-Raqqa)
• Ghazi Hataab (Kuwaiti)
• Qassim Mahmoud (‘Iraqi)
• Hashim Zaki (Syrian from Homs)
• Rami ‘Antar (‘Iraqi)
• Jihad Hamaadi (Syrian from Homs)
• ‘Umar ‘Aashour (Saudi)
• Walid Jaraad (Saudi)
• Fadi Al-Mashrouf (Kuwaiti)
• Yousif Al-Deeb (Syrian from Aleppo)
• Ghaith Al-‘Ashraam (‘Iraqi)
• ‘Abdel-Rahman Al-Rifa’i (Saudi)