ISIS captures new areas in Deir ez-Zor amidst Syrian Army retreat
After clashing with the Syrian Army on Sunday, Islamic State (ISIS) militants took control of several areas in the Deir ez-Zor enclave.
ISIS jihadists initiated the clash by launching car bomb attacks on security checkpoints in eastern Deir ez-Zor, causing dozens of casualties. The extremists then proceeded to shell Syrian bases in the Tallat al-Brouk District and Bagheliya town.
“The regime’s troops were forced to evacuate their headquarters under heavy ISIS bombardment. Both Bagheliya and Tallat al-Brouk are now under ISIS control,” media activist Ahmed Ramadan told ARA News in Deir ez-Zor.
Concurrently, ISIS militants stormed Sakan al-Jahiziya neighborhood on the Deir ez-Zor–Damascus highway, expelling the National Defense Forces (NDF), who were entrenched there.
“ISIS attacked Sakan al-Jahiziya from two directions, using rockets and car bombs,” Ramadan reported. “Pro-regime troops escaped the neighborhood to avoid further losses in manpower and equipment, heading towards western Deir ez-Zor.”
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.