BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:30 A.M.) – Coalition-led forces have been ejected from a key fortress town in eastern Syria by Islamic State terrorists for the third time in as many weeks amid ongoing heavy clashes throughout the Euphrates valley region.
Back and forth fighting for the stronghold of Gharanij (also spelt Khara’ij) in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor has seen pro-Coalition fighters kicked out of the town for a third time in three weeks following an ISIS counter-attack yesterday.
According to reports from opposition sources, the Islamic State counter-attack that retook Gharanij was led by a car bomb attack which hit a gathering of commanders, killing five of them.
Overall, the battle for Gharanij has seen huge considerable of life among the ranks of both US-backed forces and ISIS; whilst over one hundred terrorist militants have been killed (according to pro-Coalition and Kurdish sources) due to clashes for the town, some 50-70 US-led fighters have also died (according to Islamic State-linked media).
For one month now, US-backed forces have been engaged in a major offensive operation in Deir Ezzor province aimed at driving ISIS militants from the eastern shore of the Euphrates River.
So far the offensive has produced mixed results as some towns and villages have been captured and held, whilst other settlements thought the be cleared of ISIS come under attack and are retaken by the terrorist group – multiple times in the case of Gharanij.