The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Iranian-backed forces reinforced their positions in the city of al-Bukamal near the Syrian-Iraqi border in the southern Deir Ezzor countryside deploying several new units there, the Syrian Observatory for Humans Rights (SOHR) reported on June 20.
According to the pro-opposition monitoring group, the SAA and its allies are taking these defensive measures because the remaining fighters of ISIS in the Homs desert are preparing to launch a new attack on al-Bukamal. The terrorist group launched two attacks on the border city earlier this year. However, the SAA and its allies repelled both of them.
The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq confirmed that ISIS fighters are still active northwest and west of al-Bukamal. On June 19, ISIS fighters shelled several positions of the SAA and its allies around the city with recoilless rifles, according to Amaq.
ISIS is likely planning to capture al-Bukamal in order to re-establish a foothold on the western bank of the Euphrates river. This will allow the terrorist group to establish a constant link with its remaining fighters on the eastern bank of the river and the Iraqi border.
ISIS fighters shell several positions of the SAA north and west of al-Bukamal: