ISIS forces have shelled a school in the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor today, killing 11 people, including nine students, all of them girls. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 20 others were wounded, and the death toll is expected to rise.
Syrian military forces also launched attacks on the Hamidya District of Deir Ezzor today, killing 12 more people. None of the slain in those strikes were identified, but the Syrian military is looking to retake some territory in the city, which has been overwhelmingly under ISIS control since 2014.
Deir Ezzor is a hugely valuable province, and the center of much of Syria’s oil wealth. ISIS has controlled virtually the whole province for years, but has intermittently fought over the capital, with Syrian forces holding some portions of that city, along with an air base. The school attacked today is in government territory.
ISIS control over the province hadn’t been seriously contested throughout the past two years, but recently both US and Russian warplanes have launched strikes against ISIS targets there, which appears to have the Syrian military hoping to regain at least a little lost territory.