Two weeks after the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) launched a large-scale offensive at the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor, the Syrian Arab Army’s 104th Airborne Brigade – in coordination with the 137th Brigade of the 17th Division and the National Defense Forces (NDF) – countered this militant group with an assault of their own at the village of Al-Muri’iyah and Sakr Island.

With ISIS social media activists pronouncing victory at Sakr Island and Al-Muri’iyah last week, the possibility of the Syrian Armed Forces retaking these strategic areas looked bleak; however, the redeployment of the 104th Airborne Brigade – under the command of Brigadier General Issam Zahreddine – birthed new life into the embattled SAA soldiers entrenched in the Deir Ezzor Governorate.

As a result of their deployment to Deir Ezzor, the 104th Airborne Brigade was able to preserve the Syrian Armed Forces’ defenses at Sakr Island; this allowed for an SAA and NDF counter-assault to be launched on ISIS’ positions at a number of points at this island in the southern part of the provincial capital.

For the first time in three years, the Syrian Armed Forces achieved a breakthrough at Sakr Island, capturing almost the entire area from the ISIS militants spread across this territory; it would later lead to the 104th Airborne Brigade asserting complete fire-control over the island.

According to a military source in Deir Ezzor, the SAA’s 104th Airborne Brigade killed a confirmed 33 militants at Sakr Island, including a number of ISIS combatants from Tunisia, Chechnya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Libya, and Kuwait.

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To the west of Sakr Island, the SAA’s 104th Brigade countered the militants from ISIS at the village of Al-Muri’iyah, where they were able to reverse most of the latter’s gains that were achieved during their offensive last week in this area located near the Deir Ezzor Military Airport.

 

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Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics.

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