ISIS Kills 15 Pro-Govt, Kurdish Fighters in Eastern Syria Attacks

Slain included Iranian and Afghan Shi'ite militias

A flurry of attacks overnight in eastern Syria’s Deir Ezzor Province left at least 15 fighters dead. The slain included Kurdish fighters, and a number of pro-government forces, including three soldiers.

The soldiers were killed in a landmine explosion, while other pro-government forces were militia members from Afghanistan and Iran, who were operating checkpoints that ISIS forces hit.

Indeed, ISIS is being accused of all of these strikes in the east on Sunday night, which is coinciding with expectations that ISIS would start carrying out attacks, and interest in blaming Turkey’s invasion for the return of ISIS.

While some ISIS fighters are reported to have managed to escape former Kurdish prisons, it’s not clear how many, nor how operational ISIS is at this point. There is a vested interest in presenting ISIS as very operational and very dangerous, but attacks in eastern Syria happen sometimes anyhow, and Turkey-backed Islamists mean there are other forces who might launch such attacks.

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.