Fighter jets and attack helicopters of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) had carried out more than 50 airstrikes on ISIS cells in Syria’s central region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on November 17.
According to the London-based monitoring group, the airstrikes targeted hideouts of the terrorist group in:
- The western desert of Deir Ezzor;
- The al-Bishri mount and Ghanim al-Ali hill on the administrative border between Deir Ezzor and Raqqa;
- The outskirts of the town of Ithriyah in the eastern countryside of Hama.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is currently preparing to launch a new large-scale combing operation against ISIS cells in central Syria, mainly in Deir Ezzor’s northern and western deserts.
For that purpose, the army and other pro-government formations deployed large reinforcements in the region over the last few days.
ISIS intensified its attacks in the northern and western deserts of Deir Ezzor. On November 13, at least seven fighters of a tribal pro-government formation known as “Usud al-Sharqiyah” were killed in an ambush set by the terrorist group’s cells near the town of al-Masrab in the northern countryside of the governorate.
ISIS’ news agency, Amaq, shared photos from the deadly ambush on November 17. The SOHR claims that as many as 13 fighters were killed in the ambush.
Now, the SAA and the VKS are apparently taking measures to address ISIS’s growing threat in the western and northern deserts of Deir Ezzor.