Islamic State and Syrian Army exchange fire as tension escalates in Deir ez-Zor

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An Islamic State (ISIS) militant fighter. File photo

ARA News

Deir ezZor – The Syrian Army forces and Islamic State (ISIS) militants on Monday exchanged shelling in the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor.

ISIS fighters targeted the regime-held neighbourhoods of al-Qusur and al-Joura in western Deir ez-Zor with dozens of mortar shells.

“More than ten people were killed in the ISIS-led bombardment, including at least four civilians and six army soldiers,” human rights activist Khalil Bakker reported, speaking to ARA News from al-Qusur neighbourhood.

“The shelling also caused a massive destruction in residential buildings in the targeted neighbourhoods,” the source added.

In response, the Syrian regime’s army forces hit several ISIS-held districts in Deir ez-Zor city, including al-Hamidiya and Sheikh Yassin.

“The regime bombardment killed and wounded over 20 people, mostly civilians,” local media activist Ahmed Ramadan told ARA News.

Western Deir ez-Zor is a Syrian government enclave, encircled on all size by ISIS jihadists. Clashes between the Syrian Army and ISIS have recently increased in both size and frequency as the latter has repeatedly attempted to storm the regime-held areas in Deir ez-Zor City and its military airport.

Russian Airstrikes 

This comes just one day after Russian warplanes launched several airstrikes on Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor Governorate, targeting headquarters of the Islamic State (ISIS).

The air raids hit ISIS fighting positions and tactical units in the city of al-Bukamal and the Susa town in Deir ez-Zor.

“At least 31 ISIS militants were killed in the airstrikes launched by Russian Air Force on Sunday evening,” local media activist Samer al-Khalaf told ARA News.

A source close to ISIS also confirmed the death of dozens of the group’s fighters in the raids.

“The national hospital in Deir ez-Zor City received more than 30 corpses of Islamic State members subsequent to the airstrikes,” a doctor in the national hospital told ARA News, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Reporting by: Raman Yousef and Jamil Muharram | Source: ARA News

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