The Syrian National Defense Forces (NDF) deployed large reinforcements in western Deir Ezzor amid reports of a large ISIS attack on the region.
The reinforcements were reportedly deployed near the town of al-Shola on the strategic M20 highway, which links Deir Ezzor with the country’s central region.
Al-Shola and its countryside came under a large-scale attack in the early hours of December 17, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). The monitoring group claimed that the terrorist group managed to impose control of a large area near al-Shola, thus threatening the highway.
SOHR’s claims were denied by the Syrian-state TV. The country’s national channel didn’t provide any details on what exactly happened near al-Shola. However, activists said that it was a usual hit-and-run attack by ISIS.
The attack was likely launched from the Homs desert, which lays between western Deir Ezzor and eastern Homs. The desert is infested with ISIS terrorists.
This was not the first such attack by ISIS on the M20 highway, which explains the need for additional reinforcements in al-Shola and other key points along the road.