DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:35 A.M.) – Despite a three-year jihadist siege, ISIS contingents are yet to completely overrun the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in the eastern city on Deir Ezzor.
After advancing 400 meters in the cemetery area on Thursday afternoon, Syrian government troops, supported by Sunni Al-Shaitat tribesmen, continued to storm and capture multiple nearby ISIS-held points, including the Abou Hassan hill and a jihadist trench southwest of the Insurance Brigade Base.
SAA artillery units based at Brigade 137 heavily shelled the region in support of the advance after Russian cargo planes dropped thousands of shells to troops at the beleaguered army base earlier in the week.
Two entire jihadist units were neutralized amid the SAA attacks, including ISIS commander Abu Ayham Al-Masri. An additional 11 ISIS insurgents were killed by two SAA tanks as they tried to escape the ISIS-held section of the Workers’ Housing district.
Government forces enjoy fire control over the aforementioned neighborhood from two flanks, leaving dozens of ISIS militants bogged down and somehow besieged, thereby turning the tables on the terror group.
A few fighters managed to escape to the Old Airport district across a dangerous road in the evening, suggesting ISIS may give up on its encirclement of Deir Ezzor Airbase.
As darkness settled over Deir Ezzor, jihadist insurgents tried to retake their lost points although the SAA stood steady, repelling the attack and forcing ISIS to retreat under renewed shelling.
At the moment, just 1400 meters split SAA troops from linking up the Deir Ezzor pockets.
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