ISIS attacks last Syrian army stronghold in Deir ez-Zour
Dozens of ISIS suicide fighters are hurling themselves in waves on the last Syrian army stronghold in the eastern town of Deir ez-Zour and its environs (pop: 200,000 civilians). The fall of this stronghold would be a catastrophe for the Syrian army marking the end the Assad regime’s control of eastern Syria. Russian reputation would also suffer if its heavy air bombardments failed to halt the ISIS assault on this strategic region. The Islamic State appears to be determined to pull off a victory in this eastern Syrian region to make up for its battle losses in western and northern Syria.