In ISIS-controlled Eastern Syria, there remains one pocket of significant opposition - the Deir Ez-Zor Airbase. This military airfield, belonging to the Syrian Arab Air Force, is the last bastion of the regime's power in the region. It is effectively surrounded by land held by the Islamic State, and thus is difficult to resupply. Despite this, regime forces from this base have managed to have some success against ISIS, even re-taking the western portion of Deir Ez-Zor city from the terrorist group.
However, within the last few weeks ISIS has renewed its attack on the airbase. On the 5th of December the group attacked from the base's south, beginning their attack with a large suicide truck bomb (VBIED) attack, before using infantry to attempt to storm the base. This attack however was repelled with heavy losses among ISIS fighter. There were unconfirmed reports that emerged after this battle that regime soldiers may have used some form of chemical weapon (possible chlorine gas) against the Islamic State forces.
Now the battle is continuing, and while Syrian regime troops still control the confines of the base, evidence is emerging that ISIS may be gaining ground closer to the edges of the base. ISIS-affiliated media released today two videos which show their forces in positions close to the airbase. The first shows them firing at least two different artillery pieces (D-74 122mm and D-30 122mm) towards what is claimed to be the Deir Ez-Zor airbase. This claim is then backed up by the second video which shows a long distance camera pan across the airbase and its surrounding buildings, showing ISIS fighters to be within 5-10km of the base.
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