DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:30 A.M.) – With looming defeats in Mosul and Raqqa, the Islamic State appears to have turned its attention on Deir Ezzor in a bid to defeat the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) garrison in the besieged eastern city.
Targeting weak points in the SAA’s line of defense, ISIS launched a localized offensive at the mountainous area southwest of Deir Ezzor in a bid to roll back recent government gains en route to the encircled southern airport.
Amaq Agency published photos of the attack which nevertheless yielded zero jihadist gains:
Contrary to virtually all other regions, ISIS still holds the upper hand in Deir Ezzor where SAA contingents have very few disposable armored vehicles, thus preventing rapid government gains that are highly dependent on infantry advances.
Prior to encirclement of Mosul and Tal Afar, the Islamic State withdrew hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles to Syria as these are not suitable for urban warfare.
But ISIS continues to deploy them to deadly effect around Deir Ezzor which also houses the largest percentage of so-called caliphate cubs (child soldiers) compared to all other frontlines.
Click here for an interactive battle map of Deir Ezzor and Syria.