DAMASCUS, SYRIA (11:25 P.M.) – ISIS claimed to have captured two members of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on Saturday following prolonged skirmishes in the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor.
Amaq Agency depicted the captive SAA soldiers, Mohammad Al-Eis and Ali Jadu Al-Khalaf, sitting calmly in an undisclosed room, explaining details about their journey before joining the battle for Deir Ezzor on behalf of government forces. The soldiers later explained on video that they had decided to voluntarily defect to the Islamic State.
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Both soldiers originate from Raqqa province but were forcefully conscripted by the SAA, they explained. Subsequently, they were flown to Qamishli Airbase. After spending a few weeks there, they were transferred to Deir Ezzor as reinforcements.
Yesterday, the SAA killed over 50 jihadists in Deir Ezzor after conducting a series of deadly operations across the city, even sinking seven ISIS boats on the Euphrates River.
Upwards of 100,000 residents have long been under siege in government-held districts of Deir Ezzor. Two months ago, the southern airbase was cutoff from the city itself following a large-scale ISIS offensive.