On November 17, an ISIS official revealed to the ISIS-linked newspaper al-Naba’a that 8 suicide bombers and a VBIED of ISIS attacked the Deir Ezzor Airport south of the city of Deir Ezzor on November 12. According to the official, the ISIS fighters clashed with the airport guards and stormed the airport, before blowing up themselves, and their VBIED inside it.
The official claimed that the ISIS suicide attackers destroyed 3 fighter jets and 2 helicopters of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) during the attack. The official went on and claimed that 54 soldiers and 4 officers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) plus 5 Russian experts were killed in the attack.
On November 12, Syrian pro-government sources confirmed that the Deir Ezzor Airport was attacked by ISIS. However, according to the sources, only 2 SAA soldiers were killed and 2 other were injured in the attack.
Pro-government sources claimed back then, that the terrorist who was driving the VBIED was a Chechen from Russia and that all the attackers were wearing Russian Army uniforms. The sources added that the attackers tried to trick the guards to enter the area and blew themselves up when the attempt failed.
In its report, al-Naba’a revealed the names of the 8 ISIS suicide attackers. There was an alleged Russian citizen called “Abu Sa’aed al-Rusi” among them. This confirms the claims of the pro-government sources.
On November 15, Syrian opposition activists published what they described satellite images of the Deir Ezzor Airport before and after the November 12 ISIS attack. The photos showed 4 explosion impacts on two of the airport parking yards. However, the source and date of these supposed satellite images were not verified.
BIG. Satellite images dated 14th Nov. suggest destruction of 4 warplanes (L-39s)/choppers inside #DeirEzzor Airbase (in 2 areas). #ISIS reportedly carried out multiple suicide operations 2 days ago. #Syria pic.twitter.com/SiFIqyx2B6
— Qalaat Al Mudiq (@QalaatAlMudiq) November 15, 2017
ISIS cells will likely try conducting more such attacks against the SAA and other factions operating in Syria when the caliphate is officially defeated.