Syria Daily: Regime and Allies Try to Push Back ISIS Counter-Attack in East

Claimed image of pro-Assad forces in Deir ez-Zor Province in eastern Syria


The Assad regime’s military and foreign allies are trying to push back an Islamic State counter-attack in eastern Syria.

On Thursday ISIS exposed the fragility of the pro-Assad offensive, even with Russian air support, that has moved into Deir ez-Zor Province and broken the three-year Islamic State siege of Deir ez-Zor city and a nearby military airbase. Attacking on three fronts, ISIS fighters took a series of towns and villages along the Euphrates River south of Deir ez-Zor city. Perhaps more importantly, they seized gas and oil fields and moved back into eastern Homs Province, threatening the town of Sukhna.

See Syria Daily, Sept 29: Regime Faces Attacks from ISIS, Rebels

The regime military initially refused to admit losses, even as pro-Assad outlets acknowledged the ISIS assaults, occurring on the same day that its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi issued his first audio statement in almost a year. However, on Friday regime ally Hezbollah effectively did so as it claimed that the road between Deir ez-Zor city and Palmyra in central Syria had been retaken.

“The Syrian army and its allies completely secured the Deir al-Zor-Palmyra highway after foiling the intense attack,” a Hezbollah media unit said. “The highway has become passable for traffic in both directions to and from Deir ez-Zor.”

“A commander in the military alliance” — likely to be from Hezbollah — told Reuters earlier on Friday that the road was being used only when absolutely necessary, and confirmed that pro-Assad forces were fighting to recover lost ground, including the town of al-Shula on the highway.

The commander said at least 10 Hezbollah fighters had been killed.

The Islamic State said on Friday that more than 50 pro-Assad troops were slain.

A leading analyst of the situation in eastern Syria summarizes:

At Least 28 Killed in Latest Russian-Regime Attacks on Idlib Province

At least 28 civilians have been slain in overnight airstrikes by Russian and regime warplanes on Idlib Province in northwest Syria.

Local sources said four children were among the dead in the town of Amanaz near the Turkish border. Twelve other people died in Harem, 20 km (12.5 miles) northwest of Idlib city.

Russia and the Assad regime’s air force renwed attacks on the province on September 19, even though Russia had declared the area a “de-escalation zone” earlier this month. They used the pretexts of attacks by rebel factions and the jihadists of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham on neighboring northern Hama Province on that day.

In the past 11 days, more than 200 people have been killed; hospitals, civil defense centers, and power stations have been targeted; and camps for displaced people have been struck.

See Syria Daily, September 28: More than 150 Killed in Russian-Regime Bombing of Idlib

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  2. Who will win the race to control Syria’s eastern borders? 9/14/2017

    Currently, both the US-backed SDF and the Russian and Iranian-backed regime forces are racing to take as much territory as possible in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor province. However, recently, regime forces suffered major losses, with ISIS taking back several villages from the regime. 9/29/2017

    US-led coalition commander told AFP […] “We’re going for Al-Mayadeen. There are a lot of folks in Al-Mayadeen who plot external attacks on our homelands, on coalition homelands, so we can’t allow it to remain an IS sanctuary,” the commander said.

    The city lies in Syria’s oil-rich Deir Ezzor province, where the US-backed SDF and Russian-backed government forces are waging rival offensives against IS territory on either side of the Euphrates River.

    A “de-confliction” line is supposed to prevent the two campaigns from clashing, but the SDF has twice accused Russia and the regime of bombing its fighters in the province.

    Asked how a race between the SDF and regime forces over Al-Mayadeen could play out, the commander said it “has the potential to be chaotic but isn’t chaotic (yet).” 9/28/2017

    • The reason SAA and Russians twice bombed SDF in Deir Ezzor is because of encroachment conflict. Just like Assad’s dropping sarin every now and then in small amounts in order to erase any red lines, the principle-less Russians and Assad want to erase any lines such as the Euphrates river, by small but progressive incursions, in order to make it clear that de-conflict agreements are worthless, and it all has to do with opportunism and strength.

      The only solution to this is for the US to mercilessly bomb SAA and Iranian forces anywhere they make such incursions, and keep them at bay. These incursions are calculated to instill distrust and chaos – to keep the SDF on its toes and stop them from establishing peace in their territories. US should be merciless in the face of such threats. Bomb the Iranians and Hezbies and bomb the SAA, until they respect the new DNSF order.

    • Lol – the Kurds are anything but wise. Look at the amount of infighting and sectarianism. Look at the demi-God figure Ojalan and how they post his ugly face all over Rojava. Look at how they suspended due process in KRG. There is nothing wise about “self-administration”. All these idealisms quickly devolve into authoritarian jackboot regimes. The fact that they don’t have a Constitution or a Charter of Rights, and have no idea how to have one. See how they misread Erdo’an, and are now at war with Turkey. Compared to Arabs, yes the Kurds are very “wise”. Lol.

      What do you think will happen if the Kurds receive a single source of support from America?

  3. SDF has captured the Jafra oil fields. That completes the takeover of Deir Ezzor to the west of the Khubar River.

    The crown in the Jewel are the Omar oil fields to the east of the Khubar river and up to the Iraqi border. It is unclear if SDF will take over these fields. That will bring SDF right to Albukamal and Qaim. This is the remotest and southernmost part of “Northern Syria”.

  4. Time for the FSA in Idlib to kick out HTS and join DNSF (Democratic Northern Syria Federation). Also the Druze in the south should join DNSF. Finally the FSA in Daraa and Taqba should join, and receive protection from the US Airforce.

    • Not sure what you think would come of all this. These groups are never going to have the political support or legitimacy to control Syria.

      • The SDF is supported by all democratic nations. No country is supporting Assad, except for Iran and Russia and other dictatorships. The coalition just shipped 200 technicals, howitzers, ammunition, and trucks to SDF. That is legitimacy.

        Of course they are legitimate, because they have free elections in DNSF and it is a federation.

        Unelected Nazi dictator Assad has no legitimacy.

        • The SDF is supported by all democratic nations.

          You mean the US? No one else supports them. The so called coalition is pretty much non existent. Even the Europeans have recognized Assad is the legitimate leader of Syria.

          Assad is supported by pretty much everyone else. On the battlefield they are supported by Iran, Lebanon and Russia.

          The coalition just shipped 200 technicals, howitzers, ammunition, and trucks to SDF. That is legitimacy.

          No it’s just a large cache of weapons that will be captured by the SAA if not destroyed by Russian airforce. Of course, if one were to use your argument, Syria has far more weapons than the SDF therefore far more legitimacy.

          Only sovereign government Syria is Assad. UN recognizes it as such. Best get used to the idea

          • Syria may continue to exist in the eyes of the UN, but Assad has lost his legitimacy, and thus his right to rule. Maybe you should get used to the idea that dictators, kings, czars, etc get overthrown and hung by the people.

      • “Even the Europeans have recognized Assad is the legitimate leader of Syria.”

        Assad and his family and his cousins and acolytes are all under sanction in Europe. They will be hauled to jail if they put their foot there.

        “No it’s just a large cache of weapons that will be captured by the SAA if not destroyed by Russian airforce. ”

        Pray tell, how is the Russian airforce going to destroy all the humvees and howitzers the SDF has, when they are protected by the NFZ?

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