DAYRO ZCURO, Syria — Sources affiliated with the Syrian regime stated that they lost contact with a military convoy heading to the city of Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor) to support regime forces conducting anti-Islamic State (ISIS) combing operations in the Syrian desert (Badia).
The sources stated that, “The convoy was lost in the Syrian Badia after leaving Damascus heading towards Deir ez-Zor.”
The entire surrounding areas had been searched and a massive campaign of arrests against civilians had been launched. The areas around Kabajab and Al-Shula had also been searched, but the missing convoy was not found.
Islamic State activity persists in the Badia despite multiple Syrian regime offensives to clear the region.
In September, a series of clashes and incidents took place in the Badia between Syrian regime forces and ISIS.
A fighter affiliated with the Syrian regime was killed and three others injured as a result of a suspected ISIS improvised explosive device (IED) in the countryside of Uqayribat in eastern Hama Province.
A lieutenant in the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and a military commander of the National Defense Forces (NDF) were also killed during confrontations with ISIS militants.
Five members of the Al-Quds Brigade militia were killed after their vehicle detonated an explosive device near Jabal al-Bishri, west of Dayro Zcuro. The names of those killed were reported as Yousef Muhammad al-Kidir, Essam Muhammad al-Khalaf, Hasan Amir al-Husayn al-Muhammad, Ahmad Abdullah al-Alo, and Abd al-Majid Ahmad al-Hajj.
Official ISIS media outlet Amaq News Agency announced that a military vehicle of the Al-Quds Brigade had been targeted with an explosive device in the Al-Shumaytiyah region west of Dayro Zcuro. ISIS claimed to have killed three members of the militia in the attack.
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.