ISIS Overruns Key Towns in East Syria

Towns Give ISIS a Base to Attack Nearby Military Airport

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continues to grow tonight, with the latest reports that they overran the towns of Muhassan, al-Bulil, and Al-Buomar in the Deir Ezzor Province, a cluster of towns along the Euphrates River.

Muhassan is seen as a particularly strategically valuable town, as it is just a stone’s throw away from the city of Mayadin, and the Syrian military’s main eastern airport.

If ISIS manages to take Mayadin, they will effectively control every major city in Deir Ezzor, a major oil-producing province that borders the ISIS-controlled Anbar Province of Iraq.

Some portions of other Deir Ezzor cities, including al-Bukamal, have been contested off and on between ISIS and rival al-Qaeda faction Jabhat al-Nusra, though ISIS seems to be getting the better of most such confrontations, and seem to be moving ever closer to de facto statehood.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.