Joint U.S. and Israeli military cooperation led to airstrikes targeting Iranian sites and that of its proxy groups in eastern Syria Wednesday morning.
Since mid-April, the Islamic State and the Assad regime have been engaged in an intense battle in the southern neighborhoods of Damascus. ISIS claims to have killed or wounded hundreds of Assad’s soldiers, but its figures cannot be independently verified. Meanwhile, the so-called caliphate continues to fight the Syrian government and its allies in other areas as well, including in eastern Syria.
The US-led coalition announced that three Islamic State figures were killed in airstrikes in Mayadin, Syria between Sept. 12 and 14. All three worked for the so-called caliphate’s drone program. The US has carried out a targeted air campaign against the group’s personnel in or near Mayadin since earlier this year.
After pro-Syrian regime forces broke the siege of Deir Ezzor city this month, Lebanese Hezbollah media outlet Al Mayadeen released a rare interview with Hezbollah field commander “al Haj Abu Mustafa,” crediting the gray-bearded, southern Lebanese native with playing a key role in leading the defense against the Islamic State.
The US says that Russian forces struck and wounded several fighters belonging to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The incident highlights the fact that despite “de-confliction,” the US and Russia are often not on the same page in Syria.
An Iranian-controlled Afghan Shia militia advertises its role in the battle for Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria.
The US-led coalition has announced a new offensive against the Islamic State in eastern Syria. The offensive, named “Operation Jazeera Storm,” aims to clear the so-called caliphate out of territory north of the city of Deir Ezzor.
Hezbollah forces and its militia allies can be seen parading in the streets of Deir Ezzor after lifting the siege of the city. Syrian regime soldiers, who had been under the siege since 2014, praise Hezbollah and Hassan Nasrallah for their role in the operation.
As US-backed forces seize the city of Raqqa, the Syrian regime moves to retake ground in Deir Ezzor, where the Islamic State has laid siege to Bashar al Assad’s forces since 2014. Assad’s regime has received a boost from Iranian-sponsored militias, as well as the Russians, during its recent offensive in eastern Syria.
CENTCOM announced today that Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi, a “finance emir” for the Islamic State, was killed in an airstrike in eastern Syria earlier this month. Last year, the US and Iraqi governments jointly targeted Rawi and his financial network, which handled millions of dollars for the so-called caliphate.
CENTCOM announced today that “three senior foreign fighters” in the Islamic State were killed in recent weeks. Two of them were reportedly involved in the group’s “external operations” and one of them was a trainer in the “Cubs of the Caliphate” program, which indoctrinates youth. The third jihadist helped oversee the Islamic State’s use of small drones.
The policy debate concerning Syria must reflect on-the-ground realities. The war is a complex, multi-sided affair with no easy solutions.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a new offensive by the Islamic State has effectively cut the city of Deir Ezzor in two. The Islamic State has battled forces loyal to the Assad regime in and around Deir Ezzor since mid-2014. The jihadis’ latest assault has exacerbated the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the city.
A mass grave of approximately 230 Sheitaat tribesmen has been reportedly found in eastern Syria. The tribe has been battling the Islamic State since earlier this year.