Dozens of Syrian army forces killed in ISIS-led offensive in Deir ez-Zor

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Militants of the Islamic State (ISIS). File photo

ARA News

DEIR EZZOR – Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Saturday launched a fierce offensive on headquarters of the Syrian regime’s army forces in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor, killing and injuring dozens of soldiers.

ISIS fighters besieged Syrian army troops inside the al-Assad hospital building and the University Campus–both taken as headquarters by the Syrian army. 

“Militants of the Islamic State then started bombing both locations with mortar fire. More than 30 Syrian army forces were killed and dozens more wounded,” local media activist Redwan Muayyad told ARA News in Deir ez-Zor.

Also on Saturday, ISIS fighters attacked the regime-held neighborhoods of Joura and Qusour in Deir ez-Zor city, using heavy machine guns.

” Subsequent to the attack, clashes broke out between ISIS and Syrian army troops in the vicinity of Qusour and Joura districts after an attempt by ISIS militants to expel the regime forces from those areas,” the source reported. 

The clashes ended with ISIS withdrawal from the area. Casualties were reported on both sides.

A Syrian army officer told ARA News that the ISIS attempt to capture the Joura and Qusour has failed “after the army responded with heavy artillery bombardment on the group’s fighting positions”.

“We were eventually able to push ISIS back and repelled this fierce offensive,” the army officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Speaking to ARA News in Deir ez-Zor, spokesman of the the campaign ‘Deir ez-Zor Is Being Slaughtered Silently’ [DBSS] Ahmed Ramadan said: “The pro-Assad National Defense Force played a main role in repelling the ISIS-led attack on the regime-held districts of Joura and Qusour on Saturday.”

“However, the simultaneous attacks on the four major positions for the regime’s troops in Deir ez-Zor by ISIS fighters paralyzed those troops and caused them heavy losses in manpower and equipment, especially in the offensive on al-Assad hospital building and the University Campus, where nearly 33 regime forces were killed,” Ramadan told ARA News.

In the meantime, activists reported the death of the ISIS top commander Mustafa al-Haddawi, aka Abu Muhammad al-Ansari, during Saturday’s clashes in Deir ez-Zor. 

Reporting by: Raman Yousef and Heytham Hassan

Source: ARA News

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