On September 8, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces, the SAA 5th Assault Corps, the Syrian Republican Guard (SRG), Liwa al-Quds and Hezbollah, backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces, launched a new phase of the large-scale military operation against ISIS in the city of Deir Ezzor.
The advance was reportedly doubbed “Operation Assad Leap”. The declared goal of the opeartion was to break the ISIS siege on Deir Ezzor Airport located in southeastern Deir Ezzor.
Within the plan, government forces developed advaces on the ISIS-held area between the government-held part of the city and the airport from two directions: from the 137th Brigade Base and along the Sukhna-Deir Ezzor highway.
The SAA and the SRG achieved most notable gains in the highway area and secured the ash-Sholah village, the ash-Sholah oil field and reached the Maliha checkpoint.
Separately an intense fighting was ongoing between government troops and ISIS terrorists in the cemetery area east of the 137th Brigade Base where the Tiger Forces and their allies were attempting to secure the Talat Alloush hilltop.
Early on September 9, ISIS conducted limited counter-attacks against government near ash-Sholah and Talat Alloush but was not able to push the advancing govenrment forces back.
At the same time, according to pro-government sources, government troops fully secured Talat Alloush that overlooked the entire cemetery area.
If reports are confriemed, the SAA, the SRG and other pro-government formations will be able to use this strategic location and an advantage in fire power (deployed artillrey units and a Russian air support) in order to drive ISIS out from the entire cemetery area. In case of a success, this will allow to establish a land corridor to Deir Ezzor Airport and to provide supplies and reinforcements to its defenders. This will be a start of the ISIS collapse in the city.
Separately, the Syrian Defense Ministry announced that the SAA re-captured the Thayyem oil field from ISIS reaching the ISIS-held Turdah mountain from the south. The Turdah mountain overlooks the southern flank of Deir Ezzor Airport and is one of the key locations in the ISIS defense in the area.
Meanwhile, the US-led coalition and the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have decided to achieve own goals using the fierce battle between government forces and ISIS in Deir Ezzor city.
On September 8, the SDF advanced south of al-Shaddadah town and seized Tal Aljehev, Jabal az-Zirab, Bir Dumayni and Hujayf Zarrab from ISIS, according to pro-Kurdish sources. Most likely, the goal of this advance is to seize the Omar oil field, one of the largest oil fields in Syria, and as much area as its possible in the northern Deir Ezzor countryside while the SAA is battling ISIS inside Deir Ezzor city. According to Reuters, the SDF is set to formally declare the start of the operation on September 9.
On September 7, photos appeared showing a column of pontoon bridges and boats in the government-held area of Deir Ezzor. Some sources speculate that the SAA and its allies may use them to cross the Euphrates and to block the SDF advance.