ISIS raids Syrian army outpost near al-Kadir oil field

By Oliviero Reusser

On the 11th August 2017, ISIS conducted a raid onto Syrian army frontline positions, claiming them to be north of the al-Kadir village in "Wilayat Homs". al-Kadir village is located about 40km southeast of the town of Resafa and the village just north of it, Fahdeh, was captured by government forces during an offensive led by the Tiger Forces in mid-July. 

In a photo report released by Amaq agency, the un-official ISIS-run media agency, a dozen photos showed pickup trucks, a tank and several fighters engaging a forward position of Syrian government forces. Attacking an isolated position with vehicles and a small infantry group supported by artillery and heavy armor is a strategy ISIS knows how to use very well; they have been using it in Iraq and eastern Syria for years now. The quick surprise attacks overwhelm an isolated position, mostly in the desert, making for some captured equipment and many of the infamous ISIS videos; the soldiers manning these positions are mostly all killed during the attack or later executed by ISIS after capturing them. Below are some pictures from the ISIS attack. 

Around two dozen ISIS fighters get ready for the attack in the early morning, using motorcycles and multiple pickup trucks. 

Around two dozen ISIS fighters get ready for the attack in the early morning, using motorcycles and multiple pickup trucks. 

An ISIS T-55 tank provides fire support during the attack.

An ISIS T-55 tank provides fire support during the attack.

A Syria government tank destroyed by an ATGM missile launch during the raid. 

A Syria government tank destroyed by an ATGM missile launch during the raid. 

ISIS fighters overrunning the outpost an abandoned T-62 tank, later captured by ISIS

ISIS fighters overrunning the outpost an abandoned T-62 tank, later captured by ISIS

Several small arms captured by ISIS 

Several small arms captured by ISIS 

The photo report also included the images of atleast six killed government fighters, one of them beheaded by ISIS. These outposts are usually manned by a small number of men, ranging from 5 to a dozen depending on the size of the post.

These raids are, as mentioned above, a specialty of ISIS. As the Syrian government forces continue advancing in the desert of eastern Syria and towards the city of Deir ez-Zor, they will face more and more of these attacks as their lines get stretched further and further. It is important that the ISIS controlled areas in eastern Salamiyah get captured; otherwise the stretched frontline south of the Euphrates River will continue to be the target of these raids, which may be insignificant on the grand scale, but do provide ISIS with ammunition, small arms and even heavy armor captured during the attacks and the human losses inflicted on the government forces.