DAMASCUS, SYRIA (12:10 P.M.) – While more and more Syrian troops cross the Euphrates River, ISIS has begun to deploy armed drones to deter the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from expanding its foothold on Deir Ezzor’s eastern bank.

A short video released by Amaq Agency on Wednesday showed an ISIS drone dropping an artillery shell on a SAA vessel. Fortunately, government forces did not sustain any casualties due to the somewhat inaccurate aerial attack.

Thus far, the SAA has captured a handful of villages on the eastern side of Deir Ezzor while the overall goal of the ongoing ‘Big Dawn’ offensive is to retake the border with Iraq and wrestle the governorate’s oil fields from the Islamic State.

Commercial ISIS drones fitted with artillery shells have played an instrumental role on the battlefield since 2015. For instance, they were used extensively back when the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) crossed the Euphrates River for the Tabqa offensive in April, 2017.

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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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