DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:00 A.M.) – Heavy clashes raged through Deir Ezzor again on Tuesday as a sandstorm engulfed the eastern city, rendering Syrian and Russian warplanes temporarily useless and enabling a fresh ISIS assault on the encircled airport of Deir Ezzor.

Spearheaded by the caliphate cubs, jihadists tried to overrun a handful of important sites, most notably the 137th Regiment facility. Nevertheless, a garrison composed of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), National Defence Forces (NDF) and pro-government fighters from the Al-Shaitat tribe held their ground, conceding not a single inch to the Islamic State.

In the wake of the renewed ISIS assault, 21 insurgents were left dead on the battlefield while dozens more were wounded.

Meanwhile, the SAA – spearheaded by the 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard and commanded by Major General Issam Zahreddine – is still trying to link up Deir Ezzor city with its southern airbase with barely a kilometer separating the two pockets after an ISIS offensive split the Deir Ezzor enclave in two back in January.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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