Syrian Arab Army fighting ISIS in Deir ez-Zor Province. Photo: AFP/Ayham al-Mohammad
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A military source stated on Saturday that the Syrian Army has taken control of a “number of important points” surrounding Mayadin from ISIS militants, 44 kilometers southeast of Deir ez-Zor along the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
Army units also killed “a large number” of ISIS militants and destroyed a vehicle rigged with explosives as well as other vehicles equipped with heavy artillery on Saturday, state news agency Sana reported.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army, supported by Iranian-backed Shiite militias, initiated an offensive to retake the town of Mayadin and surrounding areas last week.
There are two simultaneous offensives against ISIS in the Deir ez-Zor province with the Euphrates River as an unofficial border between them.
The US-backed Arab and Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are progressing north of the river, towards the border with Iraq.
South of the river, including the city of Deir ez-Zor, the Syrian regime and their allied forces had been closing in on Mayadin since early last week.
Just east of the Euphrates River, Syrian army unites have also taken control of several important points leading to the al-Siasiyeh Bridge near Hatla, which is an important step in surrounding several ISIS controlled neighborhoods within Deir ez-Zor.
The offensives have taken a high civilian toll. According to the UK-based conflict monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 236 people have been killed in the air campaign in eastern Deir ez-Zor between September 29 and October 9 alone.
The Observatory said it is not known if the airstrikes were carried out by Russian or coalition warplanes.