Islamic State attacks Syrian airbase in Deir ez-Zor, destroys two warplanes

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ISIS militants targeting Syrian army forces. File photo

ARA News

Deir Ezzor – Islamic State (ISIS) militants continued their offensive in Deir ez-Zor Governorate on Friday, assaulting a regime-held military airbase. In the course of the fighting, ISIS destroyed at least two warplanes and killed scores of Syrian soldiers.

“ISIS militants bombarded the Deir ez-Zor Military Airport with dozens of mortar shells and at least two guided-missiles on Friday evening,” media activist Samer al-Khalaf told ARA News.

Friday’s attack comes just one day after ISIS launched a new offensive, aiming to eliminate the Syrian Army’s remaining bases in Deir ez-Zor Governorate.

ISIS jihadists initiated the offensive by targeting the army’s headquarters in Bagheliya town with heavy artillery and mortar shells. Dozens of casualties were reported.

The jihadists also attacked the Syrian Army’s 137th Regiment in western Deir ez-Zor with two car bomb attacks, followed by fierce mortar shelling and small arms fire.

Most of the city of Deir ez-Zor and its countryside is controlled by ISIS. However, pro-regime troops are still holding out in several neighborhoods in the western part of the city and control an adjacent military airport, which has been fortified.

Deir ez-Zor is deemed to be strategic for the Islamic State because it links their Iraqi holdings to Raqqa city -the group’s de facto capital.

Reporting by: Jamil Mukarram | Source: ARA News

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