Syrian Army Races East, Trying to Stop Deir Ezzor Defenses Falling

ISIS Pushes Into Long-Sieged Parts of Major City

The long-standing Syrian military offensive east into the ISIS-held Deir Ezzor Province has gained a new sense of urgency after defenses within their portion of the city of Deir Ezzor have begun to crumble in the face of an ISIS advance.

Syria has an airbase on the outskirts of Deir Ezzor and some neighborhoods on that side of the city. They’ve successfully repelled several ISIS advances for years, sometimes in some very bloody urban conflicts. Defenses have been crumbling in recent days however, with ISIS desperate to sack the area before the advancing troops arrive.

This has escalated ISIS’ push, and also led the Syrian Army to push even more desperately to get there, with some speculation that they’d be there within a few hours, but having run headlong into ISIS fighters who have slowed the advance.

Hope to push deeper into ISIS territory has put Syrian forces on the advance, eager to get to the Iraqi border and to secure as much of the oil-rich territory as possible. ISIS is far from defeated in that area, however, and is looking for its own counter-offensives into Syrian territory.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.