Social media activists in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) spread rumors on Monday and Tuesday about the reported capture of the Deir Ezzor Military Airport and the death of Brigadier General Issam Zahreddine of the 104th Brigade of the Republican Guard. After correspondence with members of the 104th Brigade, Al-Masdar News was assured that the Deir Ezzor Military Airport had not been captured and that General Zahreddine is alive and well.
According to Yarob Zahreddine of the 104th Brigade, the reports of General Zahreddine’s death were all falsely spread rumors by media sources in Lebanon. He added that his father is of good health and commanding his troops on Sakr Island (Hajeewa Sakr); this is contrary to the reports issued by Syrian Opposition and ISIS activists.
The SAA soldiers at the Deir Ezzor Military shot-down a reconnaissance drone that belonged to ISIS after it was seen flying over the base in broad daylight. The drone was accumulating images of the SAA’s positions at the Deir Ezzor Military Aiport; this is similar to the ISIS contingency at Tabqa Airbase, where they utilized reconnaissance drones to identify the SAA’s weak points of defense. No images have been made readily available to publish; however, this is the 2nd time in 2 months that the SAA has downed an ISIS reconnaissance drone taking pictures of their positions.
Violent firefights were reported at the Al-Jafra and Al-Mari’iyyah Quarters, as ISIS militants continue their large-scale offensive to capture these areas adjacent to the Deir Ezzor Military Airport. The majority of firefights at the Al-Jafra Quarter were reported near the grammar school, where ISIS militants are currently attempting to breach SAA defenses. At Al-Mari’iyyah, the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) carried out a number of nighttime raids to destroy ISIS’ fortifications in the southeastern perimeter of the quarter.
Identified ISIS fighters killed at/or near the Deir Ezzor Military Airport
1. Haani Al-Jaraad
2. ‘Abdel-Rahman Saleh Al-Hamaadeh
3. Hani Fayaz Hameed
4. Ahmad ‘Abdullah Al-‘Ali Al-Saleh
5. Manaaf Ibrahim Al-Taaya (“Abu Mu’awiyya”),
Syrian Arab Army soldiers reportedly killed at Deir Ezzor Military Airport:
1. Iktham Ajoud Badawi (Sweida City, Sweida)
2. Captain Lu’ayy Badour (Safeeta, Tartous)
3. Mohammad Mustafa Al-Di’ab (Al-Tal, Rif Dimashq)
4. ‘Umar ‘Issa Kana’an (Bloudan, Rif Dimashq)