BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:30 P.M.) – With ISIS resistance along the western shore of the Euphrates all but liquidated, evidence is now beginning to emerge that sheds light on the intensity of the final set-piece battle between the Islamic State and the Syrian Arab Army in eastern Syria, one which took place in the least expected location.

As can now be seen, ISIS fighters operating on the Euphrates’ western bank chose to make their final stand in and between the towns of Al-Qurayya and Al-Asharah, these being two settlements otherwise unheard of and small in comparison to cities like Deir Ezzor, Al-Mayadeen and Abu Kamal where it was thought the most fanatical resistance would be encountered.

At Al-Qurayya and Al-Asharah, ISIS fought – speaking strictly in military terms (not moral terms) – an admirable rear-guard action.

Terrorist militants – outnumbered, outgunned and pounded remorselessly from the air by Russian heavy bombers on a daily basis – managed to hold off the best units of the Syrian Arab Army for over two weeks and buy time enough for other fighters to withdraw to the eastern shore of the Euphrates where they will most likely surrender to US-backed forces.

Through a combination explosive traps, car bombs, snipers and a general unwillingness among jihadist militants to give up their positions until the last man had been killed, ISIS inflicted heavy losses on the Syrian Army, repelled multiple assaults and even launched several successful counter-attacks which saw it reclaim lost positions a number of times over.

The line at which ISIS made its last stand was part of a greater defensive belt running from Muhassan to Abu Kamal. This defense line was mostly bypassed by pro-government forces and with the rapid capture of Al-Mayadeen and Abu Kamal, it was thought that the belt had been shattered.

ALSO READ  Syrian gov't hasn't received official info on US troops' withdrawal - Syrian Envoy

In any case, despite the overwhelming odds against them, it appears that ISIS militants – driven out of Al-Mayadeen to the north and Abu Kamal to the south – managed to quickly regroup and salvage a solid adhoc defense line around two otherwise unheard of towns on the western Euphrates shore where they would fight their last major battle in Syria’s east.

Share this article:
  • 223
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    223
    Shares

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.