On Sunday, government forces, led by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces, captured the strategic Bir Ghabaghib and al-Shula villages on the al-Sukhnah-Deir Ezzor highway and deployed less than 15km away from Deir Ezzor city, according to pro-government sources.
Al-Shula was one of the last ISIS positions on the al-Sukhnah-Deir Ezzor highway.
If the liberation of al-Shula is confirmed, few remaining ISIS positions in the desert that can be easily overrun by the SAA.
The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq claimed that ISIS fighters destroyed a tank and a BMP-1 vehicle of the SAA with an ATGM near Haribshah village in the western Deir Ezzor countryside.
Moreover, Amaq claimed that ISIS fighters destroyed 2 BMP-1 vehicles and 2 guns of the SAA with rockets near Haribshah village.
Local sources from Ma’adan town in the northwestern Deir Ezzor countryside claimed that ISIS deployed units from “Jaish al-Khilfah”, “Assud al- Khilfah” and “Ashbal al- Khilfah” to the town.
ISIS might be planning to launch a counterattack on the SAA positions near the strategic Bishri mount northwest of Deir Ezzor.
If everything goes as planned for the SAA, the SAA might break ISIS siege on Deir Ezzor city within few days.
ISIS uses an ATGM against a SAA BMP: