By Eray Fox
On the 3rd August, leaked administrative documents showed that ISIS started forceful military conscription of every male aged between 20 and 30 in the province of Deir ez-Zor. The province and its biggest city, Deir ez-Zor, which is currently split in control between ISIS and Syrian government forces, is the target of a current large-scale government forces offensive and is about to some of the heaviest fighting it has in years.
ISIS is currently facing loss of land, due to government troops advancing on the city of Deir Ezzour, which has been besieged by ISIS for more than 3 years. In April 2014 ISIS launched a large scale attack on the city, pushing out the "green" Syrian opposition forces (including local FSA brigades, Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra), while government troops remained in control of several neighbourhoods and the crucial military airport.
Government troops (backed by allies) are currently advancing in several directions on the besieged part of Deir Ezzour. The government troops are attacking from eastern Homs (Palmyra) and Raqqa province, and are at the edge of Deir Ezzour province.
IS may use its new forces to launch attacks at the neighbourhoods and airbase, in mid-january 2017, IS militants, after 2 days of fighting, cut the road between Deir Ezzour airport and the city itself, furthermore no significant gains have been made to capture the entire city and airbase.
Humanitarian aid keeps being dropped on the besieged neighbourhoods of Deir Ezzour via Russian planes by WFP for many years now, providing some 110,000-120,000 civilians, stuck in government held areas of Deir Ezzour
Government troops and allies are at the edge of the town of Sukhna (southwest on the map); they started advancing to the town after the recapture of Palmyra. Sukhna is a strategic town on the road to Deir Ezzour and a major ISIS logistic hub for its operations in the eastern Homs desert aswell as located nearby many oil wells. On the 13th of May, 2015, IS militants captured the town as part of their first wider offensive to take Palmyra.