Pro-Assad forces are advancing in the desert region of eastern Syria, but are taking losses from Islamic State hit-and-run attacks.

The Assad regime and allied foreign militia are trying to restrict ISIS in the Badia region, near the Iraq border. At least 11 personnel were killed or wounded on Saturday, including two high-ranking officers.

Regime media and pro-Assad blogs hailed the advance, declaring “heavy losses were inflicted upon Daesh terrorists”, but did not refer to casualties from the ISIS attacks.

At the end of July, ISIS fighters in southwest Syria were allowed to move to the Badia after a pro-Assad offensive that took the area near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and the Jordanian border.

See Syria Daily: ISIS Defeated in Southwest — But Kills 3 High-Ranking Officers Near Damascus

Since autumn 2015, the Islamic State has lost control of a large area of Syria — particularly in the north and east — because of a combination of offensives by the US-supported and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, by a Turkish-rebel force, and by pro-Assad units supported by Russian airstrikes.

However, the Pentagon estimates that about 4,000 to 6,000 ISIS fighters remain in northeast Syria.