US-Led Coalition September Attack on Syrian Army in Deir ez-Zor Helped Recent ISIS Offensive

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The aerial attack of the US-led coalition on Syrian troops, stationed in Deir ez-Zor, in September allowed the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group to launch its large-scale attacks on government positions in the last couple of days.

US-Led Coalition September Attack on Syrian Army in Deir ez-Zor Helped Recent ISIS Offensive

Photo: Reuters

The aerial attack, committed by the US-led coalition on positions of the Syrian Army in southern Deir ez-Zor in September, resulted in large-scale attacks of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group on government positions in the region, launched in the last couple of days, the Al Akhbar newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, the terrorist group is going to take full control over the city of Deir ez-Zor and vast areas in the Syria’s desert, extending from the south of Sweida up to Palmyra in Homs and from Raqqa to Deir ez-Zor, in order to establish control over the Syrian-Iraqi border. As the article noted, the US-led coalition would gain a significant benefit from IS’s control over the territories in Deir ez-Zor province.

The newspaper added that the IS practically started its plan, when positions of Syrian troops in al-Thardah mountain were struck by the US-led coalition’s air power in September 17, when about 90 Syrian soldiers were killed and 100 others were wounded. Later, the Syrian Army withdrew its troops from al-Thardah mountain, which plays a protection role for the Deir ez-Zor airbase. In this way, the aerial attack of the US-led coalition opened a way for the IS and allowed the terrorist group to use its suicide attackers and suicide vehicles to intensify attacks on the Deir ez-Zor airbase.

As the Fars news agency reported, citing an unnamed source in the military operation’s Command in Deir ez-Zor, the Syrian Army, the Syrian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces try to open the key road between the airbase and the city.

“The Syrian Army still has the upper-hand and will soon turn field equations to its favor,” the source said.

The source also added that over 200 IS terrorists have already been killed since the start of their attacks.

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  • Behold a Pale Horse

    Starting to think this war is just a game. The casualties do not reflect modern warfare and the fact that ISIS has any tanks or artillery left after Russian Airforce involvement says to me both sides are working together against us to create perpetual war. Why are there any ISIS vehicles left within 5 miles of Dier Ezzor?

    • grumpy_carpenter

      “Why are there any ISIS vehicles left within 5 miles of Dier Ezzor?” vehicles by their very nature are mobile. If you destroy every vehicle for 100km they can be replaced in hours simply by driving in more. No mystery or sleight of hand just the nature of vehicles.

      • sólyomszem

        vehicles by their very nature are mobile

        aha, they have so much money and equipment…

    • 888mladen .

      There is some truth in it what ever others may say. Military Industrial complex must be kept running

    • anonim

      Airstrikes have really limited firepower.

  • Douglas Houck

    I don’t believe the article’s position that the US Sept. bombing of Deir Ezzor is the direct reason for the current assault. Too much time has transpired. I do hope FARS is correct in stating the Syria Army has the upper hand. If not then Iran needs to get involved in a big way very soon. To lose the people defending Deir Ezzor is a major loss. To have been cut off for so long and then have ISIS kill them all. (Remember, ISIS is promising a “house and wife” for those who fight and take Deir Ezzor. No men mentioned.

    • Arbetarbroder

      Hello,
      I think you might mixup the dates. This was september 17 2016 – and an US Led Airstrike for over an hour Killed many SAA Soldiers and after ISIS toke over Deir Ezzor.
      Hours later in United States, “ISIS” was placing “Cocker Pressure Bombs” in dumbsters in New York City and after a Manhunt NYPD found the man, drunk and sleeping outside a Bar in New Jersey, Strange World!

    • Pave Way IV

      There are a series of three mountain ranges (roughly) that overlook the Deir EzZor air base: Turda, Tharda and Kroum. Physical access to the air base-facing positions were guarded by a series of interlocking defensive positions throughout the mountain range. The particular ones that OIR destroyed last September were crucial to defending the entire network up and through the mountains. It wasn’t just some random ones like they claimed. It was the most important ones that would leave the others vulnerable to attack.

      The SAA could defend the remaining ones at great cost, but they eventually needed the manpower/weapons at the airport itself. The entire time, ISIS was knocking out the lower lines of defensive positions and would have eventually trapped the SAA artillery units on the mountain and destroyed them. The SAA was forced to retreat (but very reluctantly so). In the mean time, ISIS was getting all the intel/satellite imagery they needed from CENTCOM and knew exactly where to attack. Not getting imagery directly, of course. I’m sure it passed through a few hands before being fed from the Saudis, but there’s no way ISIS could have possibly mounted this kind of complex, extended operation against the mountain defenses using their 16th century head-chopper skills. There are (in my contention) plenty of U.S./GCC mercs embedded with and ‘helping’ ISIS get the job done.

      This operation would have taken months – there was a whole network of positions involved and a lot of mountain to cover. The SAA was defending it pretty fiercely – they knew what the loss of the mountain ranges meant to the air base on the ground. ISIS only recently was able to take control of the most significant part of the mountain range facing the air base and drive the SAA artillery off entirely, to be replaced with their own. ISIS now has total fire control over the wadi, the Deir EzZor plain and air base areas. Everything is within range of their medium/heavy mortars or whatever artillery they dragged up there. They can take down any low-flying aircraft or chopper with a MANPAD from those mountain positions.

      Taking the mountains were a job carried out by the relatively small local ISIS contingent (and assorted U.S./GCC mercs). The current assault on the base itself is supposedly composed entirely of elite ISIS troops forced out of Iraq by the Mosul campaign. These were not ISIS *from* Mosul, but the better-trained troops from the provinces around there. Once Mosul was surrounded, they figured they would be more effective in Deir EzZor (or their Saudi paymasters ordered them there). These are not fanatical head-choppers that work for free – these are paid professional soldiers – ISIS, al Nusra or whatever their paymasters want them to be called. They also picked up ‘recruits’ along the way to Syria to use as spies, cannon fodder and suicide VBIED drivers. You’ll see plenty of rag-tag unprofessional ISIS ‘soldiers’ in the videos, but that’s not who’s running the show, there. The ground assault is obviously being carried out by well-equipped pros with access to good intelligence, not mindless jihadi thugs. They are going up against some of the best SAA and allied units, so the fact that they made any progress so far speaks volumes.

      So the U.S. (OIR coalition, actually) bombing wasn’t the reason for the current assault, but it most certainly was part of the entire operation. Taking the mountain ranges were critical to the success of any assault on the air base. All previous attempts (without control of the mountains) ended in disaster for ISIS.

      OIR has claimed many airstrikes against ISIS around Deir EzZor, but they don’t mean they were anywhere near or in support of the SAA positions in Deir EzZor. They mean remote checkpoints or vehicles on the other side of Dier EzZor province miles away or wellheads out in the middle of the desert around Deir EzZor. CENTCOM/OIR has never done anything to help the SAA against ISIS right in Dier EzZor itself – just the opposite, as a matter of fact.

      OIR will do absolutely nothing to prevent ISIS from overrunning the SAA and slaughtering the civilians in Deir EzZor. They just said in an interview with Sky News this morning that they are there to ‘assist their partners in their fight against ISIS’. Not to fight ISIS in general, but only to help ‘partners’ (FSA, Turks, Kurds, Iraqis) fight ISIS. The SAA is not their partner so OIR doesn’t give a damn if ISIS slaughters them or not. It’s not their problem.

      • Douglas Houck

        Thank you for the detailed information and analysis. This is the best part of a Comments section, other people’s knowledge. We can only hope the SSA is successful.

        • Bob

          Not wanting to get too syrupy – but South Front forum and its comments are one of best have seen – genuinely informative and devoid of juvenile behavior.

      • 888mladen .

        US has been herding ISIS from Mosul and Raqqa to Deir EzZor in order to unleash all the wroth on SAA in that remote place. Capture of Palmira is obviously part of the plan in order to prevent any advance toward Der EzZor coming from E Homes. Pretty good long term planing compared to Russian spasmodic actions.

        • NeoLeo

          And all of that was actually predictable, we all knew they were going to attack Der Ezzor.

      • 888mladen .

        Russian symphonic orchestra was performing in Palmira after it had been taken from ISIS. Of what strategic importance was that? It speaks volumes about minds of Russian military command. They are bent on entertainment not fighting. Did they come to Syria to enjoy performance of classic music or fight ISIS? Their mindset needs radical change.

        • Spunkyhunk

          With the stupid Russian government, it’s all about “symbolism”, trying to “show the world” how “cultured” and “civilized” and “nice” they are, and avoiding any criticism/accusations from the thoroughly dishonest Western “mainstream media” liars and the degenerate Russian fifth-column “pro-Western liberal” crowd – NOT about doing what it takes to actually WIN and WIPE OUT THE ENEMY.

      • Bob

        That is a comprehensive response – thank you for taking time.

  • dutchnational

    This article is ludicrous if it supposes the US is coordinating presently with IS.

    There may have been some collusion in the past, even more from Turkey and most certainly up till recently, but to say DeiezZor attacks are coordinated with the US is conspiracy thinking and does not solve anything.

    Assad would more constructively ask the SDF, just 25 miles away, to intervene. He has to offer something in return though.

    • 888mladen .

      Well your comment is ludicrous indeed. What are US troupes doing on the territory of sovereign state of Syria without being invited by its government?

      • Dink Smallwood

        Osama, when you gas and use chemical attacks on your people you lose your right to lead a state.

        • Bob

          Define where and when those attacks took place?
          Are you aware that Turkish police found tanks of Sarin gas as used in infamous East Ghouta ‘chemical attack’ incident in Al-Nusra militant’s base camp in southern Turkey? The Turkish intelligence services took over case and Turkish police were banned from further investigation and ever entering militant camps in Turkey again. The real story of that attack is most likely a Turkish intelligence operation in conjunction with Al-Nusra in effort to get the US to commit to airstrikes on Damascus early in war. This is also conclusion made by UN investigators about the incident – but they were discreet about findings as Turkey is NATO ally and couldn’t be accused directly.
          Look it up, just have to look a little harder to find real story.

        • 888mladen .

          How’s about Oklahoma City bombing , 911 , USS Liberty. US president : “I want that dumn ship sunk to the bottom of the see

    • Bob

      USAF allowed an open travel corridor for ISIS – in a flat desert landscape – from Mosul to Palmyra and Dier Ezzor, all the while having satellite imaging and electronic communications coverage from Iraq and Jordan of these movements. Two weeks ago, US special forces helicopters landed in ISIS controlled Dier Ezzor province – out in middle of nowhere, deep inside ISIS controlled territory – where ISIS are laying siege to SAA garrison in the Deir Ezzor town and attached military airbase. What does all that tell you exactly? Just perhaps, my enemy’s enemy is my ally?

  • 888mladen .

    Partly true. Failed Desert Hawks push toward Deir Erzur has played even greater role. They didn’t want to fight because they didn’t received their pay. What a mercenary mentality. Now lives of several thousands of choice soldiers are at stake. Still no court marshal in SAA. They run away for their lives because of few VIBEDs.

  • 888mladen .

    US has been coordinating all ISIS military operations period. Even the dumbest person can see it by now. US command is trying to spread Syrian forces thin over a large area .

  • sólyomszem

    this was several months ago. inbetween arrieved >1000 soldiers and equipment.

    the syrian army generals have simply rotten brains. they are not able to plan.

    • NeoLeo

      Their problem is conventional, rigid military thinking, against these fluid, guerrilla-like, very creative and highly motivated enemies, trained by foreign instructors. Tiger-forces are basically the only SAA forces adapted to this kind of warfare, the rest of the army is stuck in 1960s

      • sólyomszem

        yes

      • Bob

        Another massive problem is NATO/GCC joint intelligence control rooms in Turkey and Jordan – with access to US satellite intelligence and communications monitoring technologies – that advise and coordinate militants strategic offensives inside Syria.

  • Brad Isherwood

    Der Ezzor province is mix of tribes exit back to Assad/Damascus
    http://www.syrianews.cc/top-opposition-figure-nawaf-al-bashir-repents-returns-syria/
    And those staying in the Saudi money bribe.
    Many ISIS tumble towards Der Ezzor province after run away Raqqa and Mosul.
    Jordan and ISIS in Iraq push in soldiers with Empire special forces.
    This fight Russia and Iran must commit to or Takfiri kookistan will exist.
    Russia recent mass TAC Air support for Der Ezzor suggests they will consolidate things after
    The ISIS surge is knocked out.
    Saudi and Russia probably on collision course…
    The entire region needs Saudi get the shit kicked out of them….Miserable tribe from hell.

  • Bernie Matthews

    What a load of bullshit Propaganda. That happened in September it’s f#cking January. This sight is controlled by Russian interests in the Middle East. As for Palmyra it was only ever going to be a Publicity stunt for Russian Today news service `state controlled media’ and the Russian government. It’s guaranteed that inside Russia nobody there here’s about the fall of Palmyra. `FAKE NEWS’

    • Dink Smallwood

      Truth. If it wasn’t for the YPG and Peshermga, Syria and Iraq would all be in terrorist hands. I read these pages for the maps, but the lies about the US operations with Isis are stupid. They had 4 months to resupply and repair. Zero link between these things. They left a Shia militia from Afghanistan to guard Palmyra?!! Why does Putin withdraw planes and troops all the time? He wants more from Assad is my guess. My hope is these terrorist “rebels” in Syria are finished soon. It was a mistake for the US to arm these people and it has led to direct arming of Al Nusra and later to Isis I’m sure. Once these FSA are dealt with the cleansing of Isis and Al Qaeda in Syria can really begin.

      • Bob

        ‘Once these FSA are dealt with the cleansing of Isis and Al Qaeda in Syria can really begin…’ It is the object exercise of the US Pentagon to stop that from happening – they want a destroyed Syrian state and continue to supply significant military aid via Saudi intermediaries delivering weapons and munitions to militants in Syria. The US Congress was only just recently discussing shifting policy into openly arming militants though direct US supply channels.

      • Bernie Matthews

        That’s all I look at these pages mostly for to. For the maps and to see how progress is going in Raqqa and Mosul against ISIS by the coalition, the Kurds and Iraqi forces. Putin’s operation in Palmyra was just a PR stunt for Russian state controlled media RT news. Despite the west’s problems combating ISIS it’s still mostly the coalition and the Kurds doing the heavy lifting against ISIS. Because of all the negative PR about Russia and Assad only attacking rebels and bombing civilians Putin tried to use attacking Palmyra as a PR stunt.

      • 888mladen .

        Wet dream.

  • Lynx Fēlēs

    Deir Ezzor should have been connected to Palmyra months ago, and the surrounding villages should have also been already cleared from terrorists. Assad and its allies waited too long to get the job done, and now we are heading towards a (possible) worst-case scneario. Reenforcements must be immediately sent to the Tyas airbase to initiate a counter-offensive on Palmyra to releive pressure from the forces traped in Deir Ezzor.

  • Lynx Fēlēs

    The idea is to expell the Syrian government from the entire Eastern part of Syria, which is why it is so important to hold these areas.