On October 11, ISIS cells launched a surprise attack on several positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies on the western bank of the Euphrates River in the southern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to Syrian opposition sources.
A source in the SAA told the Syrian al-Masdar News blog that the SAA repelled the attack and forced ISIS fighters to withdraw to their positions on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River. According to the pro-government blog, the SAA lost six soldiers and killed ten terrorists while it was repelling the attack.
The US-led coalition and its proxy, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are supposedly conducting a military operation against ISIS on the eastern bank of the river. This raises the question of how the terrorist group cells managed to cross the river and launch the attack without being noticed by the coalition.
Local observers believe that ISIS fighters were planning to open a route through the government-held area in order to withdraw towards the eastern Homs desert, where hundreds of terrorists are hiding.