The National Defense Forces (NDF) announced on July 15 that its units had conducted a combing operation in the western Deir Ezzor countryside.
NDF units cleared a vast region between al-Taim oil fields and Qalaat Ruhibah in the western outskirts of the city of al-Mayadin.
During the operation, a number of hideouts of ISIS cells were uncovered. NDF units also recovered the body of a Syrian Arab Army service member, “Moataz Abdel-Awfi,” who was killed in the region a while back.
The operation in western Deir Ezzor coincided with intense clashes between the army and ISIS in the Homs desert. The clashes last until July 16, with Russian warplanes carrying out a series of airstrikes on ISIS’ hideouts in the region.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 44 Syrian service members and ISIS terrorists were killed. These claims are yet to be verified.
Hundreds of ISIS terrorists, including senior leaders, are reportedly taking shelter in the Homs desert. The region lays between western Deir Ezzor and eastern Homs, south of the M20 highway.
The Syrian military and its allies intensified their operations against ISIS terrorists around the Homs desert over the past few months. The terrorist group sustained serious losses. However, it is still active in the region.