Deir Ezzor province was overrun by IS militants during an attack on Saturday, However, counter Syrian army assaults have liberated several areas from the extremist group whereas intense fighting is still going on for the rest of the areas.
After a day of fierce clashes with Islamic State fighters, Syrian army assaults succeeded in regaining control of many parts of the Deir Ezzor province located to East of the country. Forces loyal to Bashar al Assad have snatched territory from the terrorist group that had seized it during a multi-front attack on the area.
An officer of the Syrian Army told ARA news: “Our army forces recaptured the districts of Ayash and Begayliya in Deir Ezzor city after fierce clashes with ISIS terrorists.” The same officer, Ali Ibrahim further said: “We also recaptured the Saaqa military base in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor. The campaign will continue until we liberate the whole province from ISIS.”
Syrian army assaults came only a day after militants from the Islamic State overrun the area held by forces loyal to Bashar al Assad in Deir Ezzor. The IS attacks had claimed the lives of more than 150 people including regime supporters and their families.
A local activist told news reported that around 40 troops and 130 civilians had been murdered by IS in Deir Ezzor. Ahmed Helwani, the activist to on Saturday that IS fighters entered the neighborhoods of Begayliya and Ayash and began attacking people inside their homes. They were specifically targeting soldiers of the regime and their families.
Another activist said that IS first attacked the neighborhoods of Begayliya and Ayash with car bombs. Later they stormed the two areas. He further said on the condition of anonymity: “Dozens of women and children were brutally beheaded. ISIS is punishing families of pro-regime soldiers after the group lost the battle for Deir Ezzor’s military airport.”
Syrian army assault on the area was swift. Islamic State territorial gains were reversed immediately with by the army’s 104th Airborne Brigade and the 137th Artillery Brigade. IS again attacked the areas the following day and captured the town of Ayash. There is a weapons depot in the area that was also overran by the militant group. It seems that IS was attempting to pass through the Eastern district towards the Euphrates.
However, IS advance was halted by Syrian army assaults which allowed regime troops to maintain their foothold in the district and repel the IS fighters.
After stalling the advance of IS fighters, the Syrian army assault concentrated on recapturing the areas of Begayliya and Ayash that had fallen in the group’s hands. After fierce fighting, the troops succeeded in recapturing the Jami’yah Al-Rawad Neighborhood and the Radio Broadcast tower- the two most important points in the contested region.
The Ayash weapons depot is still heavily contested by the two sides. During the past 48 hours, it has changed hands several times.