Syrian Desert campaign (December 2017–present)
From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
|Syrian Desert campaign (December 2017–present)|
|Part of the Syrian Civil War and Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War|
Palestinian Syrian militias
|Commanders and leaders|
|Unknown||Abu Abdallah Sheikh Qaduli (Top IS commander in the Syrian Desert)|
Palestinian Syrian militiasRussian Air Force
Popular Mobilization Forces
|Military of ISIL|
| Unknown number of SAA soldiers|
1,385 IRGC-led fighters
300 reinforcements (Feb. 2019)
|Casualties and losses|
| 237 killed (2018 IS offensive)|
9 killed (2018 IS offensive)
1,468 killed (since 24 March 2019)
165 killed (since 24 March 2019)
5 killed (since 24 March 2019)
Total: 1,875+ killed
| 138 killed (2018 IS offensive)|
1,128 killed (since 24 March 2019)
Total: 1,266+ killed
| 19 civilians killed by IS (since 24 March 2019)|
Total: 3,115+ killed
The Syrian Desert campaign (December 2017–present) is a campaign waged by Syrian government forces and their allies from Iran and Russia against the remaining forces of the Islamic State (IS) in the Syrian Desert region.
Following a series of campaigns between 2016 and 2017 by the Syrian government and allied forces, the American-led CJTF-OIR coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and (to a much lesser extent) Turkey and its supporting rebels, the remnants of the Islamic State's forces west of the Euphrates River withdrew into a large pocket in the Syrian Desert, stretching between the western Homs Governorate and the eastern Deir ez-Zor Governorate, from where they utilized guerrilla tactics to target pro-government forces.
By the end of 2017, the Syrian Army's 5th Legion, supported by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Lebanese Hezbollah, had reportedly seized 50 square kilometers of desert territory in the southeastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor, expanding their buffer-zone around the strategic T-2 Pumping Station.
On 17 March, 14 soldiers were killed when IS forces captured the T-2 Pumping Station. In the following days, government forces made attempts to recapture T-2. One week after the capture of the station, 26 government troops and nine IS fighters were killed during clashes in the desert near Mayadin. Between 24 and 29 March, several IS attacks were repelled in the Mayadin area, while between 31 March and 1 April, IS forces were driven back from the T-2 area.
In early April, IS forces in the Homs Governorate employed an inghimasi attack on the Shaer gas field near Palmyra. The battle lasted for several hours, with the attack eventually being repelled by the Syrian Army with assistance of Russian attack helicopters. Concurrently, IS seized several points between Abu Kamal and Mayadin. Attacks were also conducted along the Sukhnah-Deir ez-Zor highway. In Mid-April, IS attacks south of al-Qaryatayn left 18 pro-government and five IS fighters dead, with the militants seizing several positions. IS made further advances by seizing an air defense base south of the town, but were again repelled by Russian-backed government forces. Pro-government forces also regained positions along the Sukhnah-Deir ez-Zor highway. Meanwhile, IS attacks continued in the Mayadin area and on 18 April, 25 pro-government and 13 IS fighters were killed in clashes, while on 20 April, IS attempted to attack the T-3 Pumping Station.
Between 8 and 11 May, the Syrian Army managed to push IS 60 kilometers from Mayadin, clearing 1,500 square kilometers of territory in an attempt to split the IS pocket in the desert. On 22 May, an IS attack involving suicide bombers and armored vehicles on a military outpost near the T-3 Pumping Station left between 26 and 30 pro-government fighters dead, according to the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and local residents, while the military put the death toll at 16. The next day, IS militants attacked a Syrian-Russian military convoy near Mayadin, leaving 35 pro-government forces dead, including nine Russians. Four of the Russians were regular soldiers, while Russia reported that 43 attackers were also killed during the fighting. Three days later, IS conducted more attacks near Mayadin and Abu Kamal.
On 4 June, IS attacked government forces along a 100-kilometer front from Mayadin to Abu Kamal, capturing two or three towns on the western bank of the Euphrates. The militants attacked on two fronts, with IS fighters coming from both the desert, west of the Euphrates, and from their territory on the eastern bank of the river. A few days before the assault, around 400 IS fighters crossed the Euphrates from their enclave to the east following heavy shelling of government positions. The capture of the towns cut the Deir ez-Zor-Abu Kamal highway. The following day, pro-government forces recaptured the areas they had lost.
On 8 June, IS renewed its offensive and managed to break the Syrian Army's lines around Abu Kamal by using 10 suicide bombers, including several SVBIEDs. IS fighters managed to break into the city and fighting came close to the city center. The attack once again cut the highway. However, the Syrian Army subsequently counterattacked and by the following day it was reported that the military managed to re-capture the city. During the fighting, the commander of the Syrian Army's 11th Armored Division, General Ali Muhammad al-Hussein, was killed in clashes on the Abu Kamal outskirts. The commander of Hezbollah's Rocket Division and two Iranian IRGC soldiers, including an officer, were also killed. IS's offensive against Abu Kamal continued on 10 June until the militants withdrew from the city on 11 June. Overall, 246 pro-government and 138 IS fighters were killed between 22 May and 11 June.
On 17 June, IS launched a surprise attack on government forces around the T-3 Pumping Station, destroying one tank and killing several Syrian Army soldiers. The next day, government reinforcements from the Republican Guard, National Defence Forces, Liwa Fatemiyoun, as well as additional Hezbollah fighters, were sent in preparation for a new operation against IS in the region. The same day, the military seized several IS positions between the T-2 airbase and al-Hamima and by 20 June pro-government forces reportedly cleared 1,200 km2 of territory in the Homs-Deir ez-Zor region, killing at least 50 IS militants. In addition, government forces seized 2,500 square kilometers of IS-held territory along the Iraqi border on 21 June. However, IS attacks from the Deir ez-Zor desert on government positions around the Euphrates continued throughout the summer, during which dozens of Syrian Army soldiers were killed; some estimates by the local observers were that up to 1,000 IS fighters were still hiding in the Homs-Deir ez-Zor desert pocket.
On 31 August, the Syrian Army and the pro-government Palestinian militia Liwa al-Quds launched a large anti-IS operation. forcing IS to retreat far into the desert according to pro-government media. Later, IS attacks on 2 September near Mayadin and south of Deir ez-Zor left 22 pro-government and at least eight IS fighters dead.
The Syrian Army advanced 30 kilometers into IS territory during an offensive between 10 and 11 September according to pro-government media and advanced further between 14 and 15 September, nearly splitting the pocket. By the end of 15 September, the military had reportedly captured three towns. By this point, since the offensive started on September 10, 10 pro-government and eight IS fighters had been killed. On September 16, IS launched a large counter-offensive, recapturing all of the territory it had recently lost and killing over 25 soldiers. However, on 17 September, the military counterattacked and once again captured all the areas it had lost the previous day.[self-published source?] The Army reportedly continued to advance against IS by 19 September, amid fighting that left another nine IS fighters and two government soldiers dead, until fighting died down.
On 4 November, 11 people were killed in an explosion at a Syrian military base along the highway connecting Damascus and Deir ez-Zor, including six Russian private military contractors. The next day, during fighting east of Sukhnah, five soldiers and eight IS fighters were killed.
2019: IS insurgency begins
The death of three Russian soldiers was confirmed after they had gone missing during an IS ambush in late February 2019. Several Syrian servicemen were also reported killed in the ambush. According to Russia, a group of more than 30 IS fighters who took part in the ambush were tracked down and “destroyed”. Around the same time, a Russian PMC was killed by a landmine in the region. At the end of February, the military started combing operations in the desert against the IS pocket and in early March, the Army conducted airstrikes against IS positions near Sukhnah, while preparations were taking place for the military to launch an operation in the area.
On 30 March, Syrian Army reinforcements were sent to the Palmyra countryside after several IS ambushes took place along the Palmyra-Deir ez-Zor highway over the previous two weeks, one of which–on 24 March–left five soldiers dead. Two days later, at the start of April, IS conducted a large attack on Army positions near Palmyra which was repelled after airstrikes were conducted by the Syrian Air Force. By 3 April, more Syrian Army reinforcements were sent in anticipation of a new IS attack on government positions. Meanwhile, a group of soldiers went missing following an IS ambush along the road near Haribshah on 31 March. On 11 and 18 April, two more ambushes took place with another military convoy going missing along the road between Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor, while an Army unit was ambushed north of al-Sukhnah. In addition, heavy fighting took place between 12 and 14 April, involving members of the Palestinian Liwa al-Quds militia.
In April 2019, IS activity indicated that the terrorist organization was in control of Jebel Bishri, a mountain near the intersection of the borders of the Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, and Homs Governorates, as well as the surrounding area between the Al-Sukhnah and Deir ez-Zor countrysides. On 21 April, IS captured the mountainous town of al-Kawm, forcing the Syrian Army and pro-government Palestinian militias to retreat. IS hit-and-run attacks continued into late June and fighting between 24 March and 23 June, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, left 161 pro-government and 53 IS fighters dead. Of the pro-government dead, 10 were Palestinian Liwa al-Quds militiamen, while nine were Iranian-led troops and two were Russians. Over 70 of the soldiers were killed in the month of April alone.
IS attacks continued throughout 2019 and into 2020. Between March 2019 and October 2020, 792 pro-government and 397 IS militants had been killed in the fighting in the desert. Government fatalities included 140 Iranian-led fighters and two Russians. 11 civilians were also killed.
In February 2020, the SAA, backed by Russian military units, launched an offensive to capture Jebel Bishri and its surrounding regions, which had been under IS control since April 2019. This offensive coincided with an NDF offensive to clear out IS forces from the southeast Raqqa Governorate region. In early March, the SAA managed to clear the Jebel Bishri and its environs, including al-Kawm; however, IS attacks continued in the region, with the majority of IS forces apparently having relocated during the offensive.
IS attacked pro-government forces in al-Sukhna in the Syrian Desert on 9 April 2020. More than twenty fighters on each side were killed.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activists monitored an armed attack by unknown gunmen in August, believed to be carried out by IS cells, a vehicle affiliated to government-backed militias in the area between Al-Tabani and Ma’adan in southern Al-Raqqah was targeted. The attack resulted in the death of the “head of Al-Tabani district” and two othergovernment-backed militiamen.
On 18 August, an IED planted by unknown assailants, targeting a Russian convoy on a side road near Deir Ezzor exploded killing a Russian Major General and left three soldiers injured, one of which died almost a month later. Russia held IS responsible even though no group claimed responsibility the attack. On the same day, the Russian and Syrian air forces carried out a large-scale joint operation aimed at wiping out ISIS cells across the Syrian Desert. According to Russia, the operation killed 327 IS militants, destroyed 134 shelters, 17 observation points, 7 stores of ammunition and 5 underground warehouses for weapons and ammunition from 18 to 24 August.
Since 1 September, SOHR activists have documented great fatalities among both sides due to the military operations in the Syrian desert, including airstrikes, security campaigns and attacks. At least 38 ISIS members and 19 Syrian soldiers and loyal militiamen were also killed in the same period.
On 5 September 2020, it was reported that the SAA had recaptured the Doubayat Gas Field from IS, following a 12-day offensive, thus recapturing the remainder of IS's pocket in the Syrian Desert. By 21 September, the SAA had secured control of the area, with aid from the Russian Armed Forces. However, the large-scale IS insurgency in the region continued unabated. On 23 September, IS forces launched a large-scale attack on SAA forces near the Raqqa–Homs Governorate boundary, killing many Syrian soldiers. In response, the Syrian Army moved to increase its presence in the Syrian Desert. On 25 September, it was reported that Russian and Syrian warplanes had destroyed multiple IS hideouts in the Central Syria region. A source from the SAA stated that IS would likely be able to continue hiding in the Syrian Desert, until the Syrian Army carries out a large-scale campaign with thousands of soldiers to clear every single cave used by IS.
In early November 2020, SOHR reported that Liwa al-Quds and Baqir Brigade troops had been dispatched as reinforcements for the desert counter-insurgency operations. Meanwhile, the Russian Air Force flew several bombing missions against IS cells in the desert.
On 30 December 2020, Syrian state media reported an ambush on a bus in the Kobajjep area near Palmyra had killed at least 39 people. A senior military defector in the region said that the bus was carrying Syrian Army troops and pro-government militiamen from Deir ez-Zor, and was returning to the Tiyas Military Airbase. The next day, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had killed 40 Syrian Army soldiers and badly wounded six others. The statement was carried by Islamic State's Amaq News Agency.
According to SOHR statistics, ISIS managed to kill 780 Syrian soldiers and pro-government militiamen in 2020, including 108 Iranian-backed non-Syrian militiamen, in ambushes, attacks, shelling and clashes in the Syrian desert. Also, ISIS lost 507 fighters in clashes and airstrikes by Russian and Syrian fighter jets in the same period.
On 3 January 2021, Islamic State militants killed 15 people and wounded 15 others during an ambush targeting oil tanker transport trucks and buses traveling down a highway between Ithriya and Salamiyah in central Syria. On 4 January 2021, Islamic State militants killed 12 Syrian soldiers and three civilians, including a little girl, as well as the injury of more than 16 others, including four civilians. On 11 January, eight pro-government fighters including members of Quds Force were killed by ISIS members, while 11 others sustained various injuries, in the southern desert of Deir Ezzor. On 27 January, seven members of Syrian Army and Russian-backed militias died due to the fierce clashes and attack by ISIS on their vehicles, while ISIS lost 11 fighters in the same clashes and Russian airstrikes.
On 19–20 February, at least 130 Russian airstrikes had killed 21 members of ISIS in the Syrian Desert, according to SOHR.
On 24 February, a member of the 4th Armoured Division was found decapitated at al-Aqoulah near Mayadin, one day after he was missing at a water facility in Boqruss Tahtani; meanwhile, nine pro-government forces were killed by ISIS militants in the region between Aleppo, Hama and al-Raqqa, according to SOHR.
On 11–13 March, Russian jets executed nearly 97 airstrikes on ISIS positions in the triangle of Aleppo-Hama-Raqqa, according to SOHR.
On 15 March, Russian jets executed 80 airstrikes, killing 13 ISIS members and destroying caves and positions in the Syrian Desert, according to SOHR.
On 21 March, Russian jets executed 54 airstrikes, killing 7 ISIS members and destroying vehicles, bunkers and caves in the Syrian Desert, according to SOHR.
On 3–5 April, Russian jets executed over 200 airstrikes, killing 29 ISIS members across the Syrian Desert, according to SOHR.
On 6 April, IS militants raided the town of al-Saan in Salamiyah District, western Hama, kidnapping dozens of people, including eight soldiers. Several people were later released by the terror group, while two people were reportedly killed.
On 10 May, four pro-regime militants were killed, meanwhile ISIS lost at least one member, during clashes in the vicinity of Bayoud near Rahjan, eastern countryside of Hama. On the same day, seven pro-regime soldiers died from an explosion of at least two mines in Jabal al-Amour area, to the west of the al-Sukhnah.
On 3 June, a convoy of seven vehicles were attacked by ISIS militants in Wadi Abyadh in Al-Sukhnah region, which led to the death of 25 pro-government soldiers, including an Iranian military advisor Hassan Abdullahzadeh and his companion Muhsin Abbasi, in addition to a Syrian major general Nizar Abbas Al-Fuhud.
According to the SOHR, between January and November 2022, 4 civilians, 152 IS fighters and 215 pro-government fighters were killed. All IS fighters were killed by Russian airstrikes.
Between December 2017, and mid-April 2020, at least 860 pro-government fighters were killed during the desert insurgency. According to the SOHR, 416 pro-government fighters and 150 IS militants were killed between late March 2019 and mid-April 2020. The SOHR documented the deaths of 1,685 pro-government fighters and 1,035 IS militants between late March 2019 and August 2021.
- 2017 Western Iraq campaign
- Battle of Baghuz Fawqani – A battle in 2019 for the final IS stronghold in Syria
- Daraa insurgency
- Eastern Syria insurgency
- "Although they have been besieged by Russia, Iran, and the regime for two years, thousands of ISIS members are still within an area of 4000 km² without any intention to launch a military operation against them". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
- Aboufadel, Leith (16 September 2018). "ISIS suffers major setback in Deir Ezzor as Syrian troops rapidly advance - map". Al-Masdar.
- "ISIS in February: regime and SDF launch large-scale security campaigns…Coalition continue co-operation with SDF to eliminate ISIS resurgence". SOHR. 29 February 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
- Giancarlo Elia Valori (24 September 2020). "The current situation in Syria". moderndiplomacy. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
- Gregory Waters (15 April 2020). ""A Force They Haven't Seen Before": Insurgent ISIS in Central Syria". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
- Mohammad Alhaj, ed. (19 August 2018). "Syrian government's political security branch seizes al-Tal city in Rif Dimashq". Smart News. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
- "After losing nearly 150 soldiers in a month. Regime forces and loyal militias bring in military reinforcement to repel ISIS attacks in the desert". SOHR. 1 November 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (15 June 2021). "The Life of Ghassan Hijazi of the Qamr Bani Hashim Division". Retrieved 20 June 2021.
- "Palestinian Factions Spearheading the Syrian Desert's Battles". Enab Baladi. October 1, 2018.
- "Palestinian Group Fighting alongside Syria's Gov't Forces in Hama". Action Group for Palestinians of Syria. 8 August 2019. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
- "Iran-backed militias risk dragging Iraq deeper into regional conflicts | Mamoon Alabbasi". AW.
- "إيران المتمددة فكرياً ومذهبياً وعسكرياً بأكثر من 3850 مجنداً ومتطوعاً تجابه الرفض الروسي والأخيرة تسعى لكبح جماح السيطرة الإيرانية الواسعة في سوريا". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 14 April 2019. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "ISIS catches Syrian Army by surprise to capture mountain area near Raqqa border". Al-Masdar News. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
- "About 4800 ISIS members have gotten out within about 67 days since Trump's decision to withdraw out of more than 44 thousand who left the east of Euphrates". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 23 February 2019. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "ISIS withdraws from al-Bokamal city after killing about 50 of the regime forces, Iranian Forces, and militias loyal to them in 72 hours • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". June 11, 2018.
- "Second ISIS attack in 24 hours | 19 NDF members killed and wounded near Al-Bokamal city". January 13, 2022.
- "Second Russian officer reported dead in Syria after ISIS attack". Al-Masdar. Sep 14, 2020. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "Hama battles in 90 hours | Nearly 40 regime soldiers killed and scores missing in fierce ISIS attacks • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". October 23, 2020.
- Aboufadel, Leith (December 16, 2017). "Syrian Army quietly advances in southwest Deir Ezzor, liberates 50km from ISIS". Al-Masdar News.
- "Prominent Hezbollah Commander Killed by ISIS in Eastern Homs". January 16, 2018.
- "After an attack in its south-eastern desert… groups of ISIS manage to kill 26 members of the regime forces and their allies in the west of the Euphrates". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 25 March 2018. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- Aboufadel, Leith (March 25, 2018). "ISIS launches surprise attack against Syrian Army troops in eastern Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar.
- Aboufadel, Leith (March 29, 2018). "Syrian Army beats back large ISIS attack in eastern Syria". Al-Masdar.
- "Confirmed: Syrian Army drives back huge ISIS offensive on key city and airbase in Deir Ezzor, massive weapons loot not true". Al-Masdar. April 2, 2018.
- Andrew Illingworth (3 April 2018). "Confirmed: ISIS launches deep infiltration assault on Syrian Army at key gas field in east Homs - details". Al-Masdar.
- Aboufadel, Leith (April 2, 2018). "ISIS attempts to reestablish 'caliphate' in southeastern Syria". Al-Masdar.
- "Developing: ISIS assaults Syrian Army along strategic highway from Homs to Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar. April 9, 2018.
- "At a distance ranged from 8 to 60 km… ISIS attacks the regime forces and their allies in the vicinity of Al-Qaryatayn". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 13 April 2018. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- Aboufadel, Leith (April 13, 2018). "Surprise ISIS offensive against Syrian Army yields new gains in southeast Homs". Al-Masdar.
- Aboufadel, Leith (April 16, 2018). "ISIS attempts to capture key Syrian air defense base in southeast Homs". Al-Masdar.
- Aboufadel, Leith (April 13, 2018). "Russian choppers pave the way for new Syrian Army advance in northeast Homs". Al-Masdar.
- "Violent attack by ISIS targets the former capital of "al-Khair State" and intense shelling west of Euphrates River". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 13 April 2018. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "More human losses raise to 25, the number of casualties in the ranks of the regime forces and their allies as a result of the violent attack by ISIS on Al-Mayadin city". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 19 April 2018. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "About 280 casualties of the regime forces and their allies in about 40 days of ISIS recovery and return to launch attacks". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 20 April 2018. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- Adra, Zen (May 8, 2018). "Map Update: Syrian Army, allies overrun ISIS in Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar.
- Aboufadel, Leith (May 11, 2018). "Syrian Army keeps rolling back ISIS terrorists in Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar.
- "At least 30 killed in Islamic State attack on Syrian army near Palmyra". Reuters. May 22, 2018 – via www.reuters.com.
- Aboufadel, Leith (May 22, 2018). "Syrian military denies 30 soldiers killed in ISIS ambush". Al-Masdar.
- "Russian soldiers killed in surprise Isis attack in Syria". The Independent. May 28, 2018. Archived from the original on 2022-05-26.
- "Russia says 4 of its soldiers have been killed in Syria". AP NEWS. May 27, 2018.
- "The regime forces and their allies restore most of the positions they lost in the west of the Euphrates and the death of about 90 members of them and of the organization raises to about 250, the number of casualties in the ranks of the both parties in 15 days • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". June 6, 2018.
- "ISIS controls al-Ramadi and the violent clashes leave about 30 casualties of its members and Syrian and non-Syrian allies of the regime • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". June 4, 2018.
- "Scores of IS corpses litter Deir Ezzor battlefield after fierce battle with Syrian Army". Al-Masdar. 5 June 2018.
- "Violent clashes in west Euphrates, IS closed Deir ez-Zor-al-Bu Kamal road - ANHA | HAWARNEWS | English". hawarnews.com.
- "The Latest: US says Syrian town of Manbij to be locally run". ABC News.
- "ISIS renews its offensive west of Euphrates and targets the regime, Iranians, and their loyalists in al-Bokamal area on road of Tehran – Beirut • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". June 8, 2018.
- "Breaking: ISIS enters strategic border-city after overrunning Syrian Army defenses". Al-Masdar. 8 June 2018.
- "The organization starts its heaviest attack on al-Bokamal in which Qasim Soleimani led its battles of control and closes the road of Tehran – Beirut killing and injuring tens of fighters • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". June 8, 2018.
- "Syrian War Daily – 8th of June 2018". 8 June 2018.
- "Syrian Army drives ISIS out of Albukamal, secures city". Al-Masdar. 9 June 2018.
- "Syrian War Daily – 9th of June 2018". 9 June 2018.
- "REPORT: Hezbollah Rocket Division commander killed in Syria". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com.
- "Officer and fighter in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, senior Hezbollah officer, and Shiite militia operatives killed in ISIS attacks in Albukamal. The Albukamal border crossing is of major importance to Iran since a route promoting Iran's strategic interests in Syria and Lebanon passes through it". June 19, 2018.
- "ISIS continues its offensive against the regime and the Iranians on the road of Tehran – Beirut and raises the death toll to 41 at least of the regime forces and allies in 48 hours • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". June 10, 2018.
- "ISIS carries out powerful attack against Syrian troops in east Homs". Al-Masdar. 17 June 2018.
- "Syrian Army, Hezbollah move to west Deir Ezzor for new military operation". Al-Masdar. 18 June 2018.
- Aboufadel, Leith (June 18, 2018). "ISIS eliminated in southeast Syria". Al-Masdar.
- Leith Aboufadel (20 June 2018). "Breaking: Syrian Army fully liberates ISIS pocket in southern Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar. Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
- Aboufadel, Leith (June 21, 2018). "Syrian Army liberates 1,200km2 of territory in southeast Syria (map)". Al-Masdar.
- "Palestinian "Liwa al-Quds" Initiates Military Operation in Rural Homs". Enab Baladi. 1 September 2018.
- "Death toll of Al-Bokamal – al-Mayadin Road and south of Deir Ezzor Airbase rises to more than 20 of regime's loyal gunmen and ISIS in the attack of ISIS". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 2 September 2018. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- Aboufadel, Leith (September 11, 2018). "Breaking: Syrian Army begins new offensive to clear ISIS from Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar.
- "The Syrian desert in Homs and Deir Ezzor witnesses the continuation of military operation by the regime forces and their allies of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities against ISIS". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 15 September 2018. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- Aboufadel, Leith (September 14, 2018). "Syrian Army nearly splits IS's Deir Ezzor pocket in half - map". Al-Masdar.
- Aboufadel, Leith (September 16, 2018). "ISIS suffers major setback in Deir Ezzor as Syrian troops rapidly advance - map". Al-Masdar.
- Aboufadel, Leith (September 16, 2018). "Breaking: ISIS launches massive counter-offensive against Syrian Army in west Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar.
- Aboufadel, Leith (17 September 2018). "IS's offensive proves successful as they roll back Syrian Army troops in west Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar.
- Aboufadel, Leith (September 17, 2018). "Syrian Army launches big counter-offensive against ISIS in east Homs".
- Barić, Joško (September 17, 2018). "Syrian War Daily – 17th of September 2018". Al-Masdar.
- "Regime forces and allies continue sweeping the desert of Homs and Deir Ezzor, capture and kill more than 10 ISIS members". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 19 September 2018. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "More casualties in clashes between the regime forces and ISIS in Deir Ezzor and Homs deserts". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 19 September 2018. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- Times, The Moscow (November 6, 2018). "Six Russian Mercenaries Killed in Syria Blast – Reports". The Moscow Times.
- "Wagner militants killed in Syria". en.crimerussia.com.
- "13 قتيلاً على الأقل من المسلحين الموالين للنظام وعناصر التنظيم في جولة من القتال في بادية السخنة بشرق حمص". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 5 November 2018. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- Times, The Moscow (26 March 2019). "Militants Kill 3 Russian Soldiers in Syria Ambush, Defense Ministry Says". The Moscow Times.
- "Russian soldier killed in ISIS ambush in eastern Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar. March 16, 2019.
- "Syria Daily: Russia Acknowledges Deaths of 3 Troops". March 26, 2019.
- ""Прозвали его Чечнёй": доброволец из Челябинска подорвался на мине в Сирии". 74.ru. 25 March 2019.
- "Complete map update of Syrian War - End of February 2019". Al-Masdar. February 27, 2019.
- "West #DeirEzzor : #SAA start combing operation ag. #Daesh cells from ad-Duwayr, Ash Sholah and As-Sukhnah v @watanisypic.twitter.com/cT6a9WgKU2". February 26, 2019.
- "Syrian army attacks Islamic State targets in desert: report". Reuters. March 5, 2019 – via www.reuters.com.
- "عمليات قصف جوي تطال مناطق في البادية السورية في أعقاب هجمات طالت عسكريين في المنطقة وتزامناً مع تحضيرات لعملية ضد التنظيم فيها". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 5 March 2019. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "Syrian Army reinforcements sent to Palmyra countryside after string of ISIS ambushes". Al-Masdar. March 30, 2019.
- "ISIS terrorists kill several Syrian Army soldiers in new ambush". Al-Masdar. March 25, 2019.
- "Dozens of ISIS fighters escape Baghouz to launch big assault on Syrian Army troops near Palmyra". Al-Masdar. April 2, 2019.
- "ISIS ambushes Syrian Army troops in Deir Ezzor, several soldiers missing". Al-Masdar. April 1, 2019.
- "Syrian Army convoy disappears along Palmyra Highway, ISIS ambush suspected". Al-Masdar. Apr 11, 2019. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "Syrian Army suffers heavy casualties after ISIS carries out another ambush near Palmyra". Al-Masdar. Apr 18, 2019. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "The last 48 hours witness the killing of at least 14 members in Deir Ezzor desert of al-Quds Brigade, the regime forces, and militiamen loyal to them". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 14 April 2019. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "A new attack by ISIS members in Al-Mayadin Desert kills and injures about 15 members of the militiamen loyal to the regime forces of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 23 June 2019. Retrieved Oct 29, 2020.
- "ISIS claims deadly ambushes on Syrian troops in Palmyra, Homs deserts". Rudaw. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
- "Syrian desert | Nearly 20 regime soldiers and ISIS members killed in ongoing clashes and bombardment". SOHR. 2 October 2020.
- "IS Attack In Syria Kills 27 Regime Forces: Monitor". Barron's. 9 April 2020.
- "Over 40 fighters killed in clashes between ISIS, regime in Syria: Monitor". Al Arabiya. 4 July 2020.
- "Syria war: Dozens killed as Islamic State group clashes with government forces". Middle East Eye. 4 July 2020.
- "ISIS resurgence | Five regime-backed militiamen killed in fresh ambushes and attacks in the Syrian desert". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. August 11, 2020.
- "UPDATED: Russian General Killed, 3 Troops Injured in Blast in Eastern Syria". Eaworldview.com. 31 August 2020.
- "Large-scale security campaign | Russian-backed militias start sweeping operation in Deir Ezzor desert, searching for ISIS cells". SOHR.com. 26 August 2020.
- "Syrian, Russian forces killed over 300 ISIS terrorists in central Syria". almasdarnews.com. 26 August 2020.
- "Military campaign in Syrian desert, Russian airstrikes and military operations in September kill 57 ISIS members, regime soldiers and loyalists". SOHR.com. 11 September 2020.
- "Syrian military suffers heavy casualties in big ISIS attack along Raqqa-Homs axis". Al-Masdar News. 23 September 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
- "Russian and Syrian jets destroy ISIS dens in central Syria". Al-Masdar News. 25 September 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
- "Syria: dozens killed in Isis bus attack". The Guardian. 31 December 2020.
- "After nearly 40 regime soldiers and officers killed in ISIS ambush | Regime forces unleash large-scale campaign in Deir Ezzor desert • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". January 1, 2021.
- "Islamic state claims responsibility for Wednesday's Syria bus attack". Reuters. 31 December 2020.
- ""Islamic State" in 2020 | 780 regime soldiers and loyalists killed in the Syrian desert, and nearly 500 operations by ISIS cells in SDF-controlled areas leave over 200 persons dead • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". December 29, 2020.
- "Militants attack bus in central Syria, killing 9". Associated Press. 3 January 2021.
- "ISIS' ambush | 30 people killed and wounded in yesterday's attack • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". January 4, 2021.
- "Syrian desert | Over 100 Russian airstrikes hit ISIS positions in 48 hours, while regime forces continue combing operations • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". January 4, 2021.
- "Daesh attack kills 8 regime loyalists in east Syria". Arab News. January 12, 2021.
- "ISIS resurgence | Nearly 20 members of regime forces and Al-Quds Brigade killed and wounded in new attack in Deir Ezzor desert • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". January 11, 2021.
- "Homs desert | Ongoing violent operations leave nearly 20 fatalities among regime forces, Russian-backed militias and ISIS • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". January 27, 2021.
- "ISIS attack kills 19 in central Syria". The Straits Times. February 3, 2021.
- "Russian air strikes kill 21 IS jihadists in Syria: monitor". France 24. February 20, 2021.
- "مقطوع الرأس.. العثور على جثة عنصر في "الفرقة الرابعة" في بادية الميادين شرقي دير الزور في ظل العمليات المكثفة لتنظيم "الدولة الإسلامية"". SOHR (in Arabic). 24 February 2021.
- "After cessation of aerial operations for 72 hours Russian jets execute 60 raids on the desert, killing 11 ISIS members". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. March 6, 2021.
- "In less than 100 hours, Russian fighter pound Syrian desert with over 250 airstrikes, killing nearly 45 ISIS members and destroying caves and vehicles". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. March 10, 2021.
- "Syrian desert: Russian jets continue airstrikes on ISIS positions, while Russian-backed militiamen secure the "oil road"". SOHR. 13 March 2021.
- "Russian fighter jets carry out over 80 airstrikes, killing nearly 15 ISIS members and destroying caves and positions". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. March 16, 2021.
- "Russian jets target ISIS positions with nearly 55 airstrikes in 24 hours, killing seven and destroying vehicles, bunkers and caves". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. March 22, 2021.
- "Syrian desert: Russian jets execute nearly 30 airstrikes in 12 hours, targeting ISIS positions". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 27 March 2021.
- "Over 200 Russian airstrikes nearly 30 ISIS members in 72 hours kill". Syrian Observatory of Human Rights. 6 April 2021.
- "استشهاد مدنيين اثنين وإصابة آخرين في اعتداءات لإرهابيي (داعش) في منطقة الزوينة وبلدة السعن شرق سلمية بريف حماة". SANA (in Arabic). 6 April 2021.
- "Islamic State takes dozens of hostages in surprise Syria desert attack". The Times. 8 April 2021.
- "Russian army says killed 'up to 200 militants' in Syria bombing". Arab News. 19 April 2021.
- "ISIS attack: Four pro-regime militants killed in eastern countryside of Hama". SOHR. 10 May 2021.
- "Landmine attacks: More than 25 regime soldiers and loyalists killed and wounded in eastern desert of Homs". 10 May 2021.
- "باز یاری میرود در محضر یار/ حسن عبداللهزاده در جبهه مقاومت به شهادت رسید". farsnews.ir (in Persian). 5 June 2021.
- "IS-IS attack | Regime soldier killed in Palmyra desert •". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 27 November 2022. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
- "Four members of regime's militias killed and injured in ISIS-active areas east Hama • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". April 13, 2020.