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Monday, July 31

Some SAA forces now 28 miles from Deir Ezzor city, on the southern outskirts

Peek-a-boo I see you
"Popular uprising" against Islamic State in Deir Ezzor


1.  For those who said they'd learn about the siege of Deir Ezzor when army reinforcements got there, it's getting to be that time. Here is Wikipedia's background article on the Islamic State's siege, going back to the beginning in 2014, and which is current up until early June of this year.

2. From SouthFront 7/30, "DEFENDERS OF DEIR EZZOR LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL COUNTERATTACK AGAINST ISIS. ARMY FURTHER PUSHES TO LIFT ISIS SIEGE FROM STRATEGIC CITY:"

... The Hezbollah media wing in Syria also announced that the SAA had succeeded in digging a 280 meters long trench in the cemetery area in Deir Ezzor. The trench cuts ISIS supply routes between Al-Thardah mountain and its positions in the cemetery area and inside [Deir Ezzor] city.
According to the recent reports, the SAA is currently over 45 km away from Deir Ezzor city. It’s believed that the SAA will face stronger resistance from ISIS fighters after capturing Sukhna town in the eastern Homs countryside and exterminating ISIS in the eastern Hama countryside. ISIS allegedly transported dozens of fighters from Hama and Homs to Deir Ezzor to defend its positions in the oil-rich province.
3. In addition to the popular uprising in Deir Ezzor (see #6) so many assorted tribes are joining with the Syrian Army to fight Islamic State that it's hard to keep track of them all. I'm getting a little worried that there are so many new fighters that while they're welcome reinforcements they might not have the time to get integrated with the army's plans for Deir Ezzor. SouthFront reported Sunday on a new pro-government group calling themselves "Euphrates Hawks" that's joined the army's anti-IS operation in the al-Sukhnah area. 

3. The army wants to liberate al-Sukhnah before the final onslaught in Deir Ezzor City. From a FARS report 7/30:
... The source reported that the army men took control over several hills and heights overlooking the town of al-Sukhnah and managed to impose fire control over al-Sukhnah gas field, adding that the army soldiers are now just half a mile away from ISIL's last stronghold in Homs [Province], al-Sukhnah.
[...]
Al-Sukhnah is located at a crossroads linking Homs, Raqqa and Deir Ezzor along the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway, and the source said the army's advance towards Deir Ezzor to lift ISIL's siege on the eastern city [Deir Ezzor] will be accelerated after taking back al-Sukhnah.
Also, field reports said that the ISIL terrorists have been fleeing al-Sukhnah toward Deir Ezzor following the army's recent victories in region.

Relevant reports said on Saturday that a large number of ISIL terrorists fled from their last bastion in Eastern Homs towards Deir Ezzor after the Syrian Army troops continued to advance in al-Sukhnah region with the support of the Russian and Syrian warplanes.
The army's artillery and missile units were shelling ISIL's strongholds in al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs.
In the meantime, the fighter jets carried out nonstop combat flights over ISIL's defense lines in the town of al-Sukhnah, weakening terrorists' defense capabilities.
A military source, meanwhile, reported that after the artillery and missile units and fighter jets pounded ISIL's positions in al-Sukhnah, the army men intensified their attack to enter the town, which caused a large number of ISIL terrorists to flee the battlefield towards Deir Ezzor.
[See SouthFront report above for map of area]
4. Al-Masdar News reported late Sunday (7/30) that the Syrian Army reached the northern border of Deir Ezzor governorate for the first time in years:
Following a tumultuous 24 hours that saw ... the government lose more than 40 soldiers during the Islamic State’s counter-offensive near Ghanem Al-‘Ali [and IS lose several fighters], the Syrian Arab Army struck against the terrorist forces to reestablish a supply line to the aforementioned town.
Unable to hold their ground, the Islamic State militants were forced to withdraw from Ghanem Al-‘Ali, Al-Rabiyah, and Al-Jabilah after the Syrian Army fractured their main line of defense. ...
5. This doesn't mean the SAA hasn't been busy in other parts of the governorate. From FARS on 7/30:
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops stormed ISIL's positions in the Southern outskirts of Deir Ezzor city, killing several security members of the terrorist group.

The army men struck ISIL's positions near Panorama base, Deir Ezzor base and Regiment 137 base, killing a large number of ISIL, including one of the commanders of the terrorist group in the town of Muhassan nom de guerre Moravia al-Faraj.
Local sources reported that the entire members of ISIL's security headquarters, including Abu Abdulla Tunisi, Abu Harth Shaqra and Abu al-Mo'atasem al-Dayeri, were killed in the army attack in the village of al-Hosseiniyeh.
In the meantime, the Syrian Air Force pounded ISIL's positions and movements in the neighborhoods of al-Hamidiyeh, al-Arzi and al-Kanamat and in al-Maqaber (cemetery) region and Jonayd Division base, inflicting major losses on the terrorists. ... 
6. FARS also reported on 7/30 (and posted the above photo):
... A number of ISIL terrorists, including non-Syrians, were killed during a popular uprising in Eastern Deir Ezzor amid the Syrian Army's intensified offensives on ISIL's positions and movements.

Three foreign members of ISIL, including one of the commanders of the group's arms and ammunition supplying branch nom de guerre Abu Qasan Albanian, were killed and their bodies were found along a road near the village of Buleil.
Also, two ISIL terrorists were killed by a woman in the village of Salehiyeh in Northern Deir Ezzur.
Meantime, military sources pointed to the escape of a large number of ISIL commanders from Deir Ezzur and the terrorists' falling front in the Eastern province, and said that Head of ISIL's telecommunication Badi'a Issa al-Hamidi and Hosham Ramadhan a field commander in the town of Muhassan have fled the region.

Relevant reports said on Saturday that a number of civilians stormed ISIL's military vehicles in the village of al-Hara, killing four terrorists.
The source further said that a number of ISIL's commanders fled Deir Ezzor province following the army soldiers' advances to lift terrorists' siege on the city.
The source went on to say that the army aircraft bombed ISIL's positions and movements heavily in Panorama base, around Regiment 137 base, and al-Maqaber (cemetery) region in the southern outskirts of Deir Ezzor, destroying several command centers. ...
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