Fort Russ – 21st January, 2016
Day 5 of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) offensive inside the Deir Ezzor Governorate was by far one of the bloodiest days this week, as the aforementioned terrorist group sacrificed several fighters to make small advances near the provincial capital and its military airport.
ISIS began the day by launching a massive assault on the Deir Ezzor Military Airport and the village of Jafra, striking the Syrian Arab Army’s eastern flank at both sites.
However, the ISIS terrorists were unable to make any progress at this front; instead, they lost over 20 combatants during the failed infiltration attempt at the Deir Ezzor Military Airport.
Following their failed assault on the Deir Ezzor Military Airport, ISIS renewed their assault on the 137th Artillery Brigade’s headquarters; however, they were quickly repelled by the Syrian Arab Army soldiers entrenched inside of this base.I
The Syrian Arab Army’s 137th Brigade of the 17th Reserve Division responded with their own counter-attack near the strategic hilltop of Tal Kroum, capturing this site after a short battle with the ISIS terrorists.
Not long after capturing Tal Kroum, the Syrian Arab Army’s 137th Brigade – backed by the 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard – made several advances inside of the Al-Baghayliyah District, pushing as far north as the Saiqa Camp.
Unfortunately, the advance was cut short due to the ISIS counter-assault coming from the north; if the Syrian Armed Forces did not withdraw back to the southern sector of the Al-Baghayliyah District, the terrorist group could have cutoff the advancing soldiers from their necessary supply line.
As a result of this withdraw by the Syrian Armed Forces, ISIS took the opportunity to seize the entire area surrounding the Radio Broadcast Tower and even pushed as far west as the Al-Furat Hotel, which is located near Deir Ezzor City’s western entrance.
In addition to the ISIS advance on the western outskirts of the city, ISIS also claimed they are in full control of Al-Hurayf Hill in west Deir Ezzor.
Meanwhile, north of the Al-Baghayliyah District, the Syrian Arab Army’s 104th Brigade and the National Defense Forces (NDF) successfully reentered the ‘Ayyash storage depot’s parameters – fighting is still ongoing there.