Islamic State in fresh offensive for Deir e-Zor
The Islamic State (IS) launched a three-pronged assault on Deir e-Zor’s southeastern industrial districts in a campaign to capture yet another provincial capital, reported pro-opposition Mojez News on Thursday.
“An IS suicide bomber ramed a Hummer packed with explosives into a regime checkpoint in the south-central a-Sina’ah district on Wednesday–it was completely destroyed, and dozens of regime soldiers were killed,” Mujahed a-Shami, a journalist with the grassroots Deir e-Zor is Being Silently Slaughtered campaign told Syria Direct on Thursday.
IS forces struck from the northeast, while simultaneously battling nearby regime forces, reported pro-opposition Sham News Network on Thursday. IS covets Deir e-Zor airbase, only 3.5 km southeast of the suicide-bombed regime checkpoint.
“Capturing Deir e-Zor airbase would mean the collapse of regime military positions to the northeast of the airport, and the complete fall of Deir e-Zor to IS,” a Deir e-Zor-based journalist told Syria Direct Thursday.
As the city of Deir e-Zor lies split between regime and IS control, the Syrian army finds itself under increasing pressure to keep yet another provincial capital from falling to opposition forces.
IS detonates vehicle-borne suicide IED against a former regime checkpoint in Deir e-Zor. Photo courtesy of Islamic News.
14 new brigades join Aleppo operations room
The Aleppo Victory joint operations room announced that 14 new brigades had joined up in preparation for “the great battle” to take control of Aleppo city and its countryside in an announcement released Wednesday.
Among the most prominent new brigades are the Nur a-Din a-Zinki movement, Jaish al-Mujahidin, Liwa Fursan al-Haq, and Alwiya al-Furqan.
The Aleppo Victory joint operations room was created in April from some of the largest rebel groups operating in the area, including al-Jabha a-Shamiya, Ahrar a-Sham and the Muslim Brotherhood-funded Feilaq a-Sham.