DAMASCUS, SYRIA (12:50 P.M.) – ISIS is putting up tough resistance at Sakr Island but is slowly buckling to the overwhelming firepower deployed by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), exclusive military sources inform Al-Masdar News.
On Thursday evening, Hezbollah’s (Lebanese pro-government paramilitary) media wing released footage of SAA troops engaging entrenched jihadist units on the embattled island, located across the river southeast of Deir Ezzor city.
The video shows SAA tanks, artillery, machine-guns and assault troops of the 4th Mechanized Division clearing the path and leading the way through ISIS-controlled points across Sakr Island. Towards the end of the video, airstrikes are even put on display:
Government forces are notably shown crossing the Euphrates River by boat at one point in the video, suggesting reinforcements to be pouring into the area.
At the moment, the SAA controls roughly 60% of Sakr Island while militants loyal to the Islamic State nevertheless hold on to the northern fringes, prepared to fight to the death in face of an imminent encirclement.