On March 31, ISIS released a 28-minute video documenting a series of attacks by its remaining cells in Syria’s Homs desert on the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies.
The video, titled “Epic of Attrition 2,” opens up with footage from an attack on a convoy of the al-Quds Corps, a pro-government Palestinian group. The attack took place near the town Resafa in Raqqa. The convoy was targeted with heavy weapons. Some vehicles were destroyed and two fighters were captured and executed on the spot.
A similar ambush targeted troops of the army west of the town of al-Sukhnah in Homs’ eastern countryside. However, an intervention from the Russian Aerospace Forces foiled the ambush.
ISIS cells in Homs desert appear to be very well-armed. The terrorists can be seen using truck-mounted heavy machine guns and even anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) against SAA personnel and vehicles.
Click to see full-size image
The new video also shows a series of ambushes, mostly on the Homs-Deir Ezzor highway. The ambushes targeted SAA personnel, vehicles, a supply truck and even an employee in the Syrian Parliament.
“We say to the Nusayris [a sectarian term used by Jihadists to refer to the Syrian military], God willing, you will be defeated and sent to hell,” a field commander of the terrorist group says in the video as he throws a hand grenade into a damaged engineering vehicle of the SAA.
ISIS also shared footage showing the capture and execution of 18 people, including SAA soldiers, an officer, an alleged spy for the Syrian intelligence and fighters of the al-Quds Corps.
While most captives were shot or beheaded, two were blown up with a mine and an explosive belt, for being military engineers and a third, an army gunner, was targeted with a heavy machine gun.
Most of the attacks shown in the “Epic of Attrition 2” appear to have taken place during last year, or even prior to that.
The Epic of Attrition 2 confirms that ISIS is maintaining a strong presence in the Homs desert, a strategic region linking Syria’s eastern region with the rest of the country. The group’s threat in the region is clearly increasing and the measures taken by the SAA and its allies to counter this threat are clearly insufficient.