Deir Ezzor – Islamic State (ISIS) militants launched a major offensive on Thursday, seeking 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.
“The attacks on the 137th Regiment caused the destruction of several military vehicles and the death of over 20 Syrian Army soldiers,” media activist Samer al-Khalaf told ARA News in Deir ez-Zor.
In the evening, ISIS militants continued their offensive by shelling the regime-held Military Airport of Deir ez-Zor. The results of the airbase attack remain unknown at this time.
Most of the city of Deir ez-Zor and its countryside is under the Islamic State’s control. 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