ISIS Ambush Kills Nine Militia Members in Eastern Syria Attack

Attackers hit outpost on fringe of desert

Nowhere is ISIS in Syria more numerous than in the deserts of Deir Ezzor Province. This is where today’s attack came from, as ISIS fighters came out of the desert, hitting an outpost near al-Mayadin, killing nine Shi’ite militia members.

Mayadin is a town along the Euphrates River, meaning it is surrounded on both sides by desert. This means ISIS can show up out of nowhere and move against fighters in the area, giving the others little time to react or reinforce.

ISIS has been carrying out growing hit and runs like this, trying to reestablish themselves as a real force in Syria. That will ultimately mean relocating to populated areas from the desert, but for now they seem to be hitting where they can.

The slain militia members were reportedly all Syrian nationals, though Iranian-trained. In general, Shi’ite militia members are presented as Iranian, but when the incident was in Syria, and they were in Syria, that seemed not to be a credible assertion.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of