The so-called Islamic State (ISIS) has intensified its attacks in the last two weeks on the sites of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the province of Deir Ezzor, in eastern Syria, through the launch of a battle as “retaliation” against the killing of its former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The ISIS-linked news agency Amaq said through its Telegram account on Thursday, 2 January, that the ISIS’s fighters carried out several attacks in the past three days on military sites and figures in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, the most recent of which killed members and a leader in the intelligence of the SDF.
Amaq added that the ISIS conducted a car-bomb attack on the al-Senour checkpoint in the town of Abu Hamam in the Hajin district on 1 January. The attack resulted in the deaths of nine SDF members, including a leader, the injury of others, and the destruction of some military vehicles placed in front of the general security headquarters of the Asayish forces.
The ISIS launched a military campaign titled “the retaliation invasion for the killing of the two sheikhs” two weeks ago, in reference to its former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu al-Hasan al-Muhajir, the official spokesman of the ISIS who were killed in a US airstrike in rural Aleppo and Idlib two months ago.
On 1 January, the local Hawar News Agency (ANHA) of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES) reported that a woman and three children were killed, and other civilians were injured as a result of a car bomb explosion in front of SDF checkpoint in the town of Abu Hamam in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor. No military casualties were reported as well, according to ANHA.
The ISIS announced last Friday, 27 December, that it targeted a military base for the US-led international coalition in al-Omar oil field in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor through a video published by Amaq.
The Euphrates Post, a local news network, pointed out to the return of ISIS activity in the areas of the western countryside of Deir Ezzor through clashes and attacks on the SDF sites.
The control of ISIS over the areas in the eastern region of the Euphrates was ended last March through a military operation carried out by the SDF with the support of the US-led international coalition, through which the SDF destroyed ISIS’s last stronghold in the town of al-Baghouz in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.
In the past two years, the influence of ISIS in Iraq and Syria has receded. ISIS’s presence was limited in certain areas in the Syrian desert, stretching from the countryside of Homs to Deir Ezzor via continuous military operations against the Syrian regime forces, the SDF, Russia, and America on both banks of the Euphrates River.
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