THE LEVANT – For almost 24 hours, the Islamic State has bombarded the Deir ez-Zor Military Airport with rocket-propelled grenades, mortar shells, and short-range missiles. A source from the Syrian military stated that drones have been identified flying above the airport, possibly capturing footage of SAA positions. The Islamic State is attempting to breach the walls of the airport in order to avoid Syrian Air Force bombardments; however, the walls are heavily fortified and Hind Helicopters are creating an obstacle for the I.S. militants. Islamic State militants have attempted at least two VBIED attacks today near the eastern walls of the airport; both vehicles were reportedly destroyed before they were within the vicinity of the base.
The Syrian Arab Army successfully repelled an infiltration attempt by the Islamic State militants into the Al-Rasafa District in east Deir ez-Zor City. According to a military source, the Islamic State suffered heavy casualties during this attempt; the source estimated 25 militants were killed during the battle. He further added that the Islamic State did withdraw towards the Euphrates River after the attack was thwarted by the Republican Guard. The majority of the fighting was reported in the industrial zone of the district; this is near the entrance of Al-Rasafa. An SAA military defector that later joined the Islamic State, Mahmoud Farhan Al-Milhem, was killed in the industrial zone. 6 of his men were wounded and captured by the SAA.
Deir ez-Zor Al-Sharqi (East):
8 Islamic State vehicles, mounted 23mm machine gun turrets, were destroyed by the Syrian Air Force during an air raid yesterday. Islamic State sources reported 20 militants were killed during the bombings, while the Syrian Government reported at least 60 militants killed.
Islamic State militants fired a barrage of mortar shells into the Syrian Arab Army held district, killing at least 3 civilians and wounding 2 soldiers. Despite the mortar shells, the Syrian Arab Army is in full-control of the district, while the Islamic State attempts to infiltrate from the southeast.
The Syrian Arab Army’ Republican Guard is officially on the outskirts of the Al-Jafra Oil Fields that are currently controlled by the Islamic State. The soldiers advanced after violent clashes over the course of a week.
Deir ez-Zor Military Airport:
The Syrian Arab Army is in firm control of the Deir ez-Zor Military Airport, after multiple attacks launched by the Islamic State to breach the walls. Islamic State sources claimed that they were able to enter the base; however, a military source state that this was not true. The source further added that the Islamic State retreated 3KM to avoid Syrian airstrikes on their positions. The Syrian Air Force is still conducting airstrikes in the vicinity of the airport; despite the siege, the planes have had no issue taking off. The Islamic State militants killed at Deir ez-Zor are as followed:
- “Abu Jalal Al-Tunisi” – Tunisian
- “Abu Alaa’ Al-Britani” – British
- Taheer Rajab Al-Raq – Iraqi
- Zuhayr Al-Azati – Syrian
- Tabu Gharam Al-Tunisi – Tunisian of Iraqi origin
- “Abu Assad Al-Jazraqi” – Saudi
- “Abu Farouk Al-Tunisi” – Tunisian
- Hani Al-Jaroudi – Syrian
- Is’haq Al-Masri – Egyptian
The Syrian Arab Army killed Abu Abdel-Rahman Masri (Egyptian), the leader of “Yasma Al-Haya Shari’ah” (Islamic State affiliate) in the Abu-’Abid Neighborhood of Deir ez-Zor City. 7 of his soldiers were captured by the Syrian Arab Army. The captured militants are as followed:
- Milhem ‘Abdullah
- Samir Suleiman
- Jihadmir Dood
- Hani Saweej
- Tameem Kardoush
- Shouqi ‘Awad
- Ramadhan Shalah
Syrian Air Force Airstrikes:
- 7 airstrikes in Mouhassan
- 10 airstrikes in Deir ez-Zor City
- 1 airstrike in Jubeileh
- 4 airstrikes in Abu Kamal
- 6 airstrikes in Al-Mayadeen
- 3 airstrikes in Al-Jarrah
- 3 airstrikes in the Sheikh Yassine Neighborhood