ISIS exploits the sand storm and carry out a counter attack to recover the areas it lost and the eastern banks of the Euphrates witness violent fighting
Xeber24.net – SOHR
Deir Ezzor Province – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the outbreak of violent clashes once again in the eastern sector of Deir Ezzor countryside, where the “Islamic State” organization is exploiting again the sand storm that still striking the area, where the SOHR monitored violent clashes between the Syria Democratic Forces against members of the “Islamic State” organization, as a result of a counter attack by the latter in Al-Sha’afa town, in an attempt to regain the control of the area which ISIS lost completely about 24 hours ago, and its attempt to expand its scope of control after it has been confined by the SDF in the last 2 towns remaining under its control (Al-Susah and Al-Baghuz Foqani), and the Syrian Observatory learned that the fighters of Jaysh al-Thowwar are participating as confrontational forces and attackers where they are highly experienced in terms of treating with the organization, in the areas which they are located in, while reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory, that the process of taking the control of the areas remaining under ISIS control, faces some obstructions in regard with the abstention of the remaining ISIS fighters to surrender and the presence of heavily-planted landmines in addition that the organization depends on the dreadful weather conditions to achieve advancement and regain the control of areas it recently lost.
The reliable sources added to the Syrian Observatory that the organization is still continuing to use the citizens remaining in its areas, as human shields through forcing them to wander about the areas where they are still present, in an attempt to prevent the International Coalition from targeting them, and the Syrian Observatory published hours ago, that the province of Deir Ezzor is currently witnessing a sand storm striking the area which has been witnessing military operations by the Syria Democratic Forces against the “Islamic State” organization, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the start of the storm today at 16:00, the 6th of January 2019, and field sources confirmed to the SOHR that the storm intensified and the visibility reached zero for more than one meter, which prevented the International Coalition warplanes from flying over the area, while the Syrian Observatory learned that the International Coalition fired 10 missiles today at 18:00, targeting places in the remaining areas in ISIS enclave, at the eastern banks of the Euphrates River, the SOHR also learned that fears are escalating of the continuation of the storm which gives ISIS the chance to carry out counterattacks enable it to re-expand its control in the area after the SDF managed to decrease its scope of control greatly.
The Syrian Observatory also learned that the organization became in control of only Al-Susa and Al-Baghuz Foqani towns, at the eastern banks of the Euphrates River, where the SDF managed to take the control of all the areas in ISIS enclave, except the 2 abovementioned towns, and field sources confirmed that the SDF raised the level of readiness to repel any counterattacks by the organization, that is expected to exploit the sand storm that is striking the area at the moment, and the reliable sources have confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that the remaining members of the “Islamic State” Organization in its enclave extending on a part of the east bank of Euphrates River; are divided into 2 main sections, one which supports the surrender to the SDF, and another refuses to surrender and fights the Syria Democratic Forces violently, in an attempt to prevent their progress within the rest of the enclave, which in the event ISIS lost, it will lose its last populated areas within the Syrian territory, while the “Islamic state” Organization earlier carried out executions against several members who allowed civilians to flee towards the Syria Democratic Forces’ controlled areas, also the people confirmed that fighters who objected to continue to fight to the end and preferred to surrender were executed.
The SOHR published hours ago, that people are still escaping from the remaining areas of the “Islamic State” organization, where the escape escalated since the decision of withdrawing the US Forces from the Syrian territory on the 19th of December 2018, where the Syrian Observatory learned that the last 12 hours witnessed the departure of more than 300 people, the majority of them were children and women, from areas of control of the organization at the east bank of Euphrates River, towards areas of the Syria Democratic Forces in the eastern sector of Deir Ezzor countryside, raising to 13250, the number of people who have gotten out of the organization’s enclave in December 2018, of different nationalities of Syria, Iraq Russia, Somalia, Philippine and other Asian nationalities, and about 11150 of them have gotten out after the decision of the American president Trump to withdraw from Syria on the 19th of December 2018, also the Syria Democratic Forces managed to arrest more than 550 members of the “Islamic State” Organization, of who infiltrated with the displaced people and fled the “Islamic State” organization’s-controlled areas, the sources confirmed that most of the arrests were carried out after information from the people who got out of the enclave about their infiltration, while others have surrendered themselves after they managed to leave ISIS last enclave, also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented that it rose to 1069 the number of fighters of the “Islamic State” organization, who were killed in shelling, clashes, bombings, and raids within the enclave of the organization since the 10th of September 2018, also it rose to about 573, the number members of the Syria Democratic Forces who were killed since the 10th of September 2018, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the Syria Democratic Forces being able to achieve the first 2 important advancement, the first in Abu Hasan village and the second is the control of al-Bukhatir village which are east of Hajin town, which was controlled by the Syria Democratic Forces before the US decision to withdraw from the area, and the SOHR monitored that the SDF managed to achieve advancement in positions and points in the organization’s enclave, as a part of process of clamping down on the organization even more.