On May 24, ISIS continued its series of attacks on pro-government forces in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert ambushing a group of the National Defense Forces (NDF) in the area of al-Faidah.
According to unconfirmed reports, about 30 fighters of Nazar al-Khafran, the ambushed pro-government NDF group, were killed in the incident. However, photos or videos from the area are yet to be released.
This was the third notable ISIS attack on government forces in the area within a few days. On May 22, up to 20 Syrian soldiers were killed in a large ISIS attack on their positions near the T3 pumping station, east of Palmyra. The attack was repelled. On May 23, ISIS members attacked army positions west of the city of al-Mayadin. This attack was also repelled.
Early on May 24, reports appeared that aircraft of the US-led coalition had carried out strikes on positions of the Syrian Army and its allies northwest of al-Bukamal and near the T2 pumping station. The US-led coalition denounced these reports.
Later, a military source told the Russian state-run news agency Sputniknews that the strikes had targeted ISIS positions close to government positions. However, this version also remains unconfirmed.
The increased ISIS activity in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert triggered a harsh response from the Syrian military which is now preparing for a security operation to eliminate the remaining ISIS members in the area, according to pro-government sources. The operation will reportedly involve units of the Syrian Army, the Repuplican Guard and Liwa al-Quds, which will be backed by some Iranian-backed forces and Iranian military advisers.
— Qalaat Al Mudiq (@QalaatAlMudiq) 23 May 2018