ISIS forces have advanced against the Syrian military since Thursday, seizing the key village of Jafra, on the border of the Deir Ezzor air base in a battle that left at least 30 troops slain.
Having taken the village, ISIS is once again pushing against the air base, the easternmost military site still under Assad government control, and which has faced several previous sieges.Parts of the base are said to have fallen.
The base is also the last real site from which the Syrian military can launch airstrikes against a large portion of ISIS territory, and the loss of it would seriously curb the Assad government’s ability to bring air power forth against ISIS.
ISIS has controlled the vast majority of Deir Ezzor Province for months, but has failed to take the air base so far. With ISIS’ recent focus on consolidating its hold on territory along the Iraq/Syria border, this latest push may be more serious than past efforts.