DAYRO ZCURO, Syria — The Russian commanded Fifth Corps, made up of reconciled opposition fighters, and the Al-Quds Brigade militia affiliated with the Syrian regime were positioned in the Al-Shula area in the Syrian Desert (Badia), south of Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor) in preparation of a wide-scale operation against the Islamic State (ISIS). The Islamic State has maintained a significant presence in the Badia following its territorial defeat in March 2019, largely at the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and U.S.-led Coalition Partners.
The deployed forces established security checkpoints to help seal it off from Islamic State incursion. secure the area from the ongoing attacks of Islamic state (ISIS). In addition to intense helicopters hovering.
An estimated 125 members of the regime-aligned National Defense Forces (NDF) defected to SDF areas in late-August due to increasing ISIS attacks in the area and to avoid partaking in the Badia operation.
The U.N. believes there are upwards of 10,000 ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq.
Iranian militias in the Dayro Zcuro area have been under continued pressure by ISIS in the Badia, the SDF across the Euphrates River, and Israel from the air.
On Monday, six massive explosions were heard south of Albu Kamal in the eastern Dayro Zcuro countryside. It is assumed Israeli jet fighters targeted Iranian militias stationed in the area, killing 10 fighters — eight Iranians and two Syrians.
The strikes detonated ammunition depots and vehicles belonging to the militias.