ISIS Clings to Life, Launching Raids From its Desert Hideouts

first published on May 1, 2017 by

ISIS clings to life from its desert hideouts, launching attacks against the overstretched Syrian regime. The sporadic raids interrupt the regimes supply lines and fuel the tensions between rival factions in the region.

The remnants of the so-called Islamic State have had a slight resurgence in recent weeks – stepping up hit-and-run attacks and releasing propaganda footage of the incidents. After the fall of Mosul, followed by Raqqa, and finally the liberation of most of ISIS controlled territory. ISIS was, with a few exceptions, largely driven into several desert enclaves in eastern Syria and western Iraq.

In this aftermath the forces loyal to the Assad regime, the Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and the various Syrian rebel groups greedily gobbled up territory from the defeated Islamist menace. During this time, the regime forces began shifting around the country clearing pocket after pocket of scattered rebel resistance. While earlier this year the Kurd’s would become embroiled fighting against the Turkish invasion of Afrin.

As this competition for control of territory continued, the desert hideouts of the surviving and thought to be defeated ISIS fighters were largely bypassed and ignored. Possessing enough weapons and equipment to remain a threat, the extremist’s bided their time as focuses shifted elsewhere.

The video below documents one of these recent resurgent ISIS raids in eastern Syria near Deir ez-Zor. Launching from their desert hideout in improvised armored vehicles and heavy machine-gun armed “technicals,” the jihadists attack a poorly defended regime base.

They rapidly advance with little or no resistance from the regime troops, seemingly driving right up to the defensive berm. Dismounting, the ISIS militants quickly blast their way into the series of tents and berms, ultimately driving the regime forces out. The militants immediately begin pilfering gear and set fire to an entire fleet of ambulances, trucks, and highly critical earth-movers. With the base ablaze, they loot multiple armed trucks and flatbeds hauling bulldozers and vanish back into the barren desert.

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