The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has withdrawn fighters from the Deir Ezzor Military Airport Offensive over the last two days, after a week of intense clashes. While, a large force remains in the vicinity of the Military Airport, ISIS forces have not progressed or attacked SAA positions since Friday. The Syrian Arab Army’s Republican Guard has taken advantage of this, bombarding ISIS positions in the Old Airport District and the surrounding areas. As a result, the SAA destroyed a fortified base belonging to ISIS, killing 14 militants in the process.
Deir Ezzor’s largest and oldest suspension bridge that links the land separated by the Euphrates River was damaged earlier today. The Siasiyyeh Bridge – built in 1927 by a French architect – has been an integral link between rural Deir Ezzor and the city itself; it was used by many civilians that relied on the provincial capital for commerce and trade. FSA militants damaged the bridge in May 2013; however, it was fixed later that year. Conflicting reports emerged over who destroyed the bridge today – ISIS sources claim the bridge was destroyed to allow their militants to pull back; while, SAA sources have stated the bridge was destroyed because it was used to transport ISIS supplies to their fighters in the city. There has been no official confirmation thus far.
A 50 meter tunnel was discovered by the Syrian Arab Army on the outskirts of Deir Ezzor City. The tunnel was stocked with weapons, maps, ammunition, and intelligence documents; it is the longest tunnel the SAA has identified since the inception of this war. The tunnel was abandoned, as the remaining ISIS fighters attempted to flee the area before a violent confrontation with the SAA. A military source stated that a dozen ISIS militants were killed during the brief firefight.
According to civilian sources in Deir Ezzor, ISIS militants have fled the city of Abukamal near the Iraqi border, amid tribal attacks on their positions. Members of the Al-Sha’tat Tribe began to attack ISIS militants after a truce agreement was broken by the latter. Since the advent of the violence between the two groups, ISIS has been forced to fight a war of two fronts in Deir Ezzor.
In the Al-Haweeqa Neighborhood, three ISIS Tunisian fighters were killed over the last two days during clashes with the Syrian Arab Army. The three ISIS fighters are as followed:
- ‘Amir Daashi
- Abu As’ad Al-Tunisi
- Abu ‘Ubeida Al-Tunisi