ISIS continues its attacks in Syria and Iraq

DEIR EZ-ZOR, Syria / MOSUL, Iraq – More than a year after losing control of all its territorial holdings, the Islamic state (ISIS) has escalated its attacks in Syria and Iraq, taking advantage of the global preoccupation with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday, ISIS members attacked vehicles of the Syrian regime and pro-Iranian militias in the Syrian desert (Badia) between Al-Sukhnah in the Homs countryside and Al-Shoula in the Deir ez-Zor countryside, killing 11 members of the Syrian regime and pro-militias.

While ISIS has not claimed this attack, it is the only known insurgent group operating the Badia.

Also on Thursday, ISIS attacked a unit of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the town of Baghuz outside Deir ez-Zor, killing two SDF members. Baghuz was the last territory to be liberated from ISIS and has been a hotbed of ISIS activity ever since.

Earlier in the day, it was announced that a joint SDF–International Coalition operation in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor had resulted in the arrest of a member of ISIS.

In related news, ISIS militants launched separate attacks in western Iraq, where they destroyed four high-tension powerline towers with explosives and killed two soldiers south of Mosul. Three ISIS operatives were killed in the attacks.