Deir Ezzor – Sound and Picture

Deir Ezzor military airport is considered one of the most hot and mysterious front in Syria regarding the amount of arms that was provided to it and the number of combat components there, such as IS, Regime forces and the armed opposition groups, without any decisiveness for either sides, to be called now Bermuda Triangle.

Questions have been raised over three years of siege without any answer. Despite the succession of several armed factions, the condition stayed the same; many regime officers and fighters were killed on its walls, and many of the opposition and IS fighters were also killed there. Moreover, the backups that arrived from neighboring countries were sent for both regime forces and IS sides, which made it more difficult to make a significant change in the geographic equation.

IS, at the beginning of its control over Deir Ezzor in July of the last year, presented itself as the greatest force in the region. Therefore, IS concentrated its forces, bringing backups and heavy mechanisms from Raqqa and Iraq to break into Deir Ezzor military airport, and started a Battle of six days ended up with the deaths of a large number of its fighters without achieving any progress.

IS attempts to control the military airport lasted for a year, using car bombs, mortar shells and grad rockets. Regime response was by bombing IS and civilian locations around the airport, which made August the bloodiest month of the year for both sides, as five car bombs was sent to the airport in two days allowing IS to take control of the missile battalion and other military points. However, regime forces succeeded in exiling IS of the airport perimeter by using toxic gases.

“Toxic gas was not enough to force IS to withdraw” according to an exclusive source to “Sound and Picture” one of IS Syrian fighter’s relative who asked to use the name “Omar” instead of his real name. Omar also revealed other new exclusive details to us.

Omar said: “one of my relatives leads a group of IS Syrian fighters, or what IS calls “Ansar”. He was among the groups that was sorted by IS to break into the airport. He once told me that his relationship with other group of 18 Tunisian fighters led by ” Abu Sarah the Tunisian” was not a good relationship because of their arrogance and that they describe the Syrian fighters as cowards. My relative also told me that, during the battle Abu Sarah addressed the Syrian fighters asking them to move forward while ordering his fighters to retreat. As a result, the Syrian group was trapped by regime forces and lost three fighters before they were able to flee.  What happened angered my relative, thus he asked his fighters to gather and sent for Abu Sarah and his group for a meeting to prepare a plan for the airport operation together. Once Abu Sarah and its fighters came, the Syrian fighters opened fire at them using Anti Air machinegun 23, killing them all “.

” According to the video showed to me by my relative on his mobile phone, A lot of fighters riding a big car headed to Iraq as he told me, he told the security office about the incident at time, and that he executed them all because of their failure and their withdrawal from the battle. IS princes blessed his move and ordered him to hide the bodies away from other IS members sight and make it look like an accident. Thus, my relative took a car loaded with dead bodies heading to Shekh Yassin neighborhood in Deir Ezzor and blew it up, saying that these fighters were killed in an explosion in IS secret explosives warehouse”, Omar said.

In turn, Abu Saad, a resident of Sheikh Yassin neighborhood said to the reporter of “Sound and Picture” :The house in which the explosion occurred was abandoned, and it was owned by one of “the Islamic Ahrar Alsham Movement” fighters, who fled at the beginning of IS control over the city. I haven’t noticed any entry of any of IS fighters to that house for more than four months. At the same day of the blast, around 9am, I noticed a white car stood in front of the house and left after an hour. After a while explosion happened causing damage in neighboring houses. Soon, IS members came and closed the neighborhood and said to the people that the house was a secret warehouse”.

On the other hand, one of IS dissident said that the airport battles was mainly used by IS as a cover to get rid of some of its members who doubted their loyalty, as well as using aviation raids as a cover to announce the death of members that it already executed in fear of splits within IS.

About The Author


Sound and Picture organization: We are a group of Syrian human rights activists. We noticed the lack of bodies which document abuses against civilians inside Syria, therefore we decided to establish this project, it is specialized to document the violations which have committed by all sides in the ongoing conflict in Syria against civilians in a professional way. The organization is documenting all kinds of violations, and working on the accounting for the groups which committed these violations by the international community. The organization is completely independent, and does not follow any political or military bodies, whether inside or outside Syria.

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