The Islamic State (ISIS) group has inflicted heavy losses on the Syrian army’s Tiger Forces in the eastern province of Deir-ez-Zor, killing at least 250 troops and wounding 280 more in three weeks of clashes, sources told Zaman al-Wasl.
The elite commandos, led by notorious Gen. Suhail al-Hassan, have been pressing to take the town of Al-Asharah, where the last remaining pockets of ISIS fighters are showing fierce resistance.
According to a new estimate by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based war monitor, more than 119,000 pro-regime forces have been killed since the start of the civil war, including 62,000 Syrian army troops, tens of thousands of loyalist militiamen, and 1,556 Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.
Despite using a scorched earth policy, Hassan has so far failed to make any advances in the territory between Al-Asharah and the district of Al-Salihiya.
Meanwhile, activists based in the border town of Albu Kamal have documented deaths of 103 civilians in as little as seven days due to heavy bombing, despite claims by the Assad regime it had taken the key town weeks ago.
The army declared victory over ISIS in Albu Kamal earlier this month, but the jihadists staged a counterattack using sleeper cells hidden within the town.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.