THE LEVANT NEWS EXCLUSIVE – Damascus – By Rim Al-Samman –Translated by: Mirvat Sibaii — For the second consecutive day, the military airport of Deir az-Zour witnesses escalation in the military operations at its vicinity, where fierce clashes are ongoing between ISIS and the Syrian Army where the latter called up support troops, military reinforcement from infantry and shooting division in addition to heavy and medium plants in order to be able to wage counter-attack on the positions of ISIS who is trying to establish control over the airport more than a year ago.
This coincided with the recede of the sandstorm which engulfed the region during the past three days, a matter that enabled the Syrian warplane to conduct raids on groups of the militants at the vicinity of the airport, preventing them from achieving any advance in the area, killing dozens of ISIS fighters and injuring many more. ISIS has acknowledged the causalities accusing the Syrian Army of shelling its fighters using toxic gaz.
More recently, battles have been intensifying yesterday, in the late night hours, after ISIS conducted a fierce attack on southern and eastern axis of the airport, using booby-trapped devices, in desperate attempts to advance in the region taking advantage of the bad weather conditions which prevented the Syrian Army from using the warplanes, targeting the ISIS fighters advancing towards the airport, and obstructing their movement.
Close sources to the Islamic State affirmed, yesterday, that the assailant forces were able to establish control over the area of the southern sector, missile battalion, and the white building belonging to the Syrian Army near the airport. This came after two of the fighters blew themselves using booby-trapped cars, the first one targeted the white building near the airport while the other one attacked the missile battalion which caused human causalities on the side of the Syrian Army, without knowing the final outcome.
In the same context, similar clashes are ongoing between “The Protection Units of Kurdish Population” and ISIS in Abdul Aziz Mountain at Hasaka’s province, where news on the scale of the casualties was not reported. Meanwhile, sources revealed that ISIS Emir called “Mohamed Khaled al-Khalaf al-Ghadir” was killed by the Syrian Army in al-Shadadi city.
In addition to that, in the early hours of the morning fierce battles took place between the two opposition factions “Jaish al-Islam” and al-Sham Liberation Army” in al-Rahiba area located in the eastern Qalamoun at Damascus province.
On the other hand, field sources reported that explosions have rocked the western city of Hama, caused by the explosion of an ammunition store belonging to the Syrian Army at the city’s military airport. The reports said that the explosions did not result in any injuries or loss of life.
Meanwhile, it was reported that battles between the Syrian Army and the factions of “Jaish al-Nasr” at the vicinity of a checkpoint in the northern province of Hama resulted in number of deaths and injuries.
However, opposition sources announced, after hours of the fighting, that “Jaish al-Nasr” established control over the checkpoint amid continues confrontations with the Syrian Army.
In the same context, field sources affirmed that the Syrian Army continues to besiege al-Daheya quarter in Hama city through disconnection of services such as electricity, and preventing the entrance of food deliveries, in an attempt to obstruct the advance of al-Nusra with the assistance of sleeper cells in the area.
Source: Beirut Center For Middle East Studies