BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:45 P.M.) – Islamic State militants trapped on the western shore of the Euphrates River have made it clear that they are not willing to give up without a fight, counter-attacking over the last few days and driving back the Syrian Arab Army from two key towns.
Over the last few days, the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces have been attempting to capture the towns of Al-Qurayya and Al-Asharah from ISIS.
In the case of the former town, the Tiger Forces initially succeeded in controlling over half the town before Islamic State terrorists counter-attacked with two car bombs, stunning Syrian troops and pushing them to withdraw.
Al-Asharah has seen even more brutal combat than Al-Qurayya, with the Tiger Forces being unable to even penetrate the first line of Islamic State defenses around the town despite days of shelling and one concerted storming attempt.
Although the Syrian Army holds the strategic initiative and will inevitably liberate both Al-Qurayya and Al-Asharah, at the tactical level, both Syrian forces and ISIS are currently attacking at the same time, with the latter now attempting to build a lofty buffer zone around the last few towns in controls on the western Euphrates shore.