Last summer, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) shocked the world with their abrupt capture of the Nineveh Governorate’s capital of Mosul; one year later, the terrorist group has launched another summer offensive in Syria and Iraq after a five month hiatus that included a relentless bombing campaign by the “Anti-ISIS Coalition.”
ISIS has proven to be incredibly successful while operating in the desert terrain of Iraq and Syria, as their recent offensives at the provincial capital of Al-‘Anbar Governorate (Al-Ramadi in Iraq) and the ancient city of Palmyra (Homs Governorate of Syria) have resulted in substantial gains for the terrorist group, despite the merciless airstrikes from the Syrian Arab Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force, and the Anti-ISIS Coalition.
Most recently, the militants from ISIS have shifted their focus from the desert countryside to the more urban areas of Syria, where they have launched simultaneous offensives at Sawran (city in northern Aleppo), Al-Hasakah City (provincial capital), Al-Salamiyah (city in east Hama), and the Sheikh Najjar Industrial District (east Aleppo); this has resulted in the terrorist organization expanding their control over contested territories.
On Tuesday morning, the militants from ISIS launched a number of attacks around Syria; specifically, the terrorist group focused their attention on the cities of Jazal (northeast Homs), Mar’e (northern Aleppo), and Deir Ezzor (provincial capital), along with a surprise assault at the western slopes of the Qalamoun Mountains of Lebanon.
The terrorist group did experience some success in the northeastern Homs and northern Aleppo fronts, as the ISIS militants captured the Jazal Oil Refinery and the village of Hashayah (northern Aleppo) after a series of clashes with the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Jabhat Al-Shamiyah (Levantine Front).
However, not every attack had uplifting results for the terrorist group: ISIS suffered an embarrassing defeat at Ras Ba’albak near the Syrian border after they attempted to breach Hezbollah’s frontline defenses, resulting in 5 casualties for the Lebanese Resistance and 14 confirmed militants killed-in-action (KIA) from ISIS
Among the dead ISIS fighters at Ras Ba’albak, these were the names provided to Al-Masdar News: Abu Akramah, Abu Shahaab, Abu ‘Aisha, Abu Mohammad, Abu Ka’id, and Abu Khaled – their identities are pending.