Moments ago, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured several points along the Deir Ez-Zor road to Mayadin city further south. This government offensive comes as somewhat of a surprise; just two months ago ISIS fighters launched a major offensive of their own in northern Deir Ezzor. At that point in time, ISIS captured Ayyash village and the majority of Al-Baghayliyah district.
However, for now, government forces have already advanced some 4-6 kilometers south of Deir Ezzor city into areas which have been ISIS-occupied for years. The long-term goal of these advances seem to be the Thayyem Oil Fields which remain under Islamic State control. If government troops can capture these oil-rich areas at Thayyem, it would be a major blow to the ISIS war marchine and economy.
Today’s government offensive has been launched by the SAA’s Republican Guard, the 137th Brigade, the National Defense Forces (NDF), alongside the Sunni fighters of the Shaytat tribe which is prevalent in eastern Syria.
Earlier today, government soldiers also wrestled Jabal Thardeh from ISIS fighters; this mountain lies near the Mayadin-Deir Ezzor road which has previously been used to bring in supplies, arms and ammunitions to militants of the Islamic State.
Additionally, this manuever has not only obstructed an ISIS road to the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor, it has also eased the pressure on Deir Ezzor Airbase. For years, ISIS fighters have attempted to captured the aforementioned air field as it represents the Syrian Government’s only way of bringing in food to some 100.000 civilians and soldiers in the government-held suburbs of Deir Ezzor which are under ongoing ISIS besiegement.