DAMASCUS, SYRIA (12:10 P.M.) – Islamic State commanders have thrown all available forces into the defense of Albukamal (Abu Kamal) in anticipation of a looming assault to be launched by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Hezbollah on the besieged ISIS-held city, located in the far southern countryside of Deir Ezzor.
Photos released by Amaq Agency on Thursday shows ISIS’ sides of events, depicting the defensive line at the western gates of Albukamal. On this axis, stubborn jihadist insurgents have entrenched themselves with anti-aircraft guns, anti-tank weaponry, mortar pieces, heavy machine-guns, along various types of vehicles. The images also showed SAA movements being monitored and attacked from afar:
After retreating from the neighboring city of Al-Qaim on the Iraqi side of the border earlier this month, ISIS elements in Syria have been heavily reinforced, allowing them to establish a last stand at Albukamal, the last major city which remains under the self-declared caliphate’s control.
Although SAA and Hezbollah contingents still outnumber ISIS, it is expected that Russian and Syrian warplanes will increase their sorties over Albukamal in the coming days to demoralize the jihadist garrison.