Russian and Syrian air forces launched strikes against ISIS, inflicting substantial casualties

nsnbc : Both Russian and Syrian air forces launched a series of air strikes against ISIS positions and convoys in Syria, including Damascus, Deir Ez-Zor, Raqqa, Hama and Homs provinces.

Syria_Syrian Air Force_(archives)_2017The Russian Defense Ministry, on Monday, said Russian Aerospace Forces killed more than 200 ISIS terrorists and destroyed a convoy consisting of scores of cars and armored vehicles which was heading to Deir Ezzor city.

The Russian Defense Ministry noted that ISIS, having suffered heavy losses in Raqqa and Homs provinces, are now trying to make their last stand in Deir Ez-Zor. The number of ISIS fighters heading for Deir Ez-Zor is expected to increase for a number of reasons.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allies recently doubled the area under their control along the Jordanian border. SAA and allied troops have launched a campaign to push toward Deir Ez-Zor to liberate the besieged city.

Meanwhile, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have seized about 55 – 60 percent of the city of Raqqa from ISIS, prompting ISIS fighters from the region around Raqqa to head for Deir Ez-Zor.

Moreover, Iraqi forces have, Sunday morning, launched a campaign to liberate the city of Tal Afar, located west of Mosul and no more than 60 kilometers from the Iraqi – Syrian border.It is becoming increasingly difficult for ISIS to hold territory. It is therefore probable that ISIS would see an advantage in relocating as many of its troops as possible from Tal Afar or Raqqa to the oil and resource rich eastern Syrian province of Deir Ez-Zor.

Russian Air Force bombing_Syria_Aug 2017_Deir Ez-ZorMeanwhile, the Syrian air force also reports that it destroyed fortifications and vehicles for ISIS terrorists in air strikes in the eastern countryside of Hama and the southern countryside of Raqqa province. Especially with regard to Syrian air strikes in Raqqa province, the Russian and US military are likely to come under increased pressure to avoid unwanted incidents between the various different air and ground forces operating in the theater.

A Syrian military source was quoted by the Syrian State news agency SANA as saying that the Syrian Air Force carried out intensive airstrikes against fortifications and positions of ISIS in Jana al-Albawi village in the eastern countryside of Salamyia and Ma’adan city, 70 km to the southeast of Raqqa. The source added that the sorties targeted gatherings and fortifications of ISIS- affiliated terrorist groups in Rasm al-Sawwanieh, to the southeast of Rasm al-Baroud and in Qasir al-Hir al-Sharqi in the eastern countryside of Homs province. The Syrian Air Force also destroyed ISIS fortifications and hideouts in Juroud al-Qalamoun in Damascus countryside.

F/AK – nsnbc 21.08.2017

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