In the late hours of April 12, warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out several airstrikes on ISIS hideouts around the town of Huribishah in western Deir Ezzor, according to the Step News Agency.
The airstrikes were likely a response to a recent attack by the terrorist group’s cells on positions of the pro-government National Defense Forces (NDF). The local outlet Euphrates Post said that four NDF fighters were killed in the attack.
Last month, the NDF launched a combing operation around Huribishah and the town of Kobajjep. Both towns are located on an important highway linking the city center of Deir Ezzor with the historical city of Palmyra in the eastern Homs countryside.
Despite the operation success, ISIS cells continue to carry out attacks around the two towns. Local observers believe that these attacks are being launched from the last terrorist group stronghold in Syria, the Homs desert.
The vast desert, which lays between western Deir Ezzor and eastern Homs, is sheltering hundreds of ISIS fighters. A recent report even suggested that the terrorist group’s leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, may be hiding there.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have not moved to clear the desert yet, likely due to increasing tension around the governorate of Idlib in northern Syria.