The bombing of Ain Issa and the military build up of the TAF continue. Meanwhile, the SAA still clashes with Isis in the Badia desert. The toll is 30 deaths among IS soldiers and jihadists.
The eastern axes of the SDF south of Deir Ezzor is at the gates of Sousa, waiting for the arrival of the southern one, to launch the anti-Isis offensive. The Islamic State replies with counterattack attempts
The SDF south of Deir Ezzor are launching the offensive against Isis at the gates of Sousa. The Syrian fighters of Operation Round Up (Jazeera Storm) reached the outskirts of the Daesh stronghold, which they are besieging, while waiting for the arrival of the southern axes. The latter, after having chased the Islamic State from Baghuz and Al-Shajil, is preparing to attack As Safafinah, continuing to move towards the north, in parallel to the Euphrates. The militiamen attempted a surprise counterattack in the areas recently lost, trying to infiltrate inside the enemy’s defense lines. The group, however, was rejected with losses. Both the Arab-Kurdish ground troops and the International Coalition air fighters reacted immediately, and stopped the assault. The balance of victims was of several terrorists killed and many others injured. The rest, instead, fled in the direction of Sousa, Sha’Fah and Hajin.
Meanwhile, the leaders of Daesh urgently try to keep the jihadists together. They are afraid of the increasing mass escapes and surrenders while the Operation Round Up advances in the Syrian province
Meanwhile, Isis leaders try to keep the militiamen together south-east of Deir Ezzor. The Islamic State spokesman , Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, released the message “The assault of monotheists against the stronghold of the polytheists”. Inside it, he claims and glorifies the recent attack against the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in Iran. At the end of his speech, there is space for Daesh jihadists in Syria, and in particular the ones fighting in the province. They are invited to keep compactly together when facing the SDF offensive . This has become mandatory, as with the advancing of the Operation Round Up in the province, there has been an almost exponential increase of mass escapes and surrenders among the ranks of IS. This is confirmed by the urgency in broadcasting it. The last speech of Abu Hassan al-Muhajir was on 22nd April 2018 and lasted around 58 minutes. This one instead, lasts only 3 minutes long and was broadcasted without being announced, as it usually happened before.