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.
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.