As the Syrians understand the complexity of the situation in Deir ez-Zor, continuing the offensive East of Tiyas, but the pace of advance there are quite modest, to be able to talk about the crisis that forced the Caliphate to bring additional troops. In this respect, the attack in the direction of Deir hafir or the training throw on Tabqa, may force the Caliphate to reconsider their priorities, although without proper preparation, such offensive operations can be quite risky due to the lack of troops to ensure the flanks of the strike force and control over the supply lines. Apparently real plans to liberate Deir-ez-Zor were attributed to spring and have been linked to the onset of Palmyra. The defeat of the Caliphate in December 2016, the first year dealt a serious blow to those plans.
Despite intense bombardment and attempts at counterattacks by the SAA, the gap between the city and the air base is preserved. Holding the front against the main force of the SAA in the area of the University of al-Furat, hospital “Assad” and base “Panorama”, “black” trying to widen the gap between the fragmented parts of the enclave, attacking in an urban area to the North of Harabesi and at the same time trying to push back Syrian troops directly to the airbase. The main battles here are in the heart of the quarter, Macabi, Garii and a field hospital to the North of the airbase.The enemy, using superiority in numbers, suicide and active artillery fire, gradually pushing back the Syrian infantry to the air force base. The exchange of manpower (in the last days side lose daily dozens of people killed) best “black”, as they have more opportunities for the transfer of reinforcements and replenishment of worn out parts. The activity of the aviation of the Syrian and Russian air forces so far, only slowed down the advance of the militants, but did not stop it. Complicates the situation that started today sandstorm.
In General, the situation for the SAA remains critical, but not yet hopeless. If in the next few days will be able to oust the militants from the area between the city and the airbase, the situation will stabilize. If the enemy is entrenched there and will widen the gap between the city and the air base, the supply issues of the city will be severely hampered, and the insurgents will dramatically increase your chances of mastering the airfield, without which the continued survival of the enclave will be called into question.
By nightfall, the situation continues to be unstable. The militants continue to hold the district between the city and the air base, but there is a small distance, so that the counter SAA has chances of success, especially in the second half of the day the positions of “black” has been applied to dozens of air strikes. The results of intense exposure will be visible in the morning on January 17.
By the evening of 16 January, the Caliphate was able to cut the enclave in Deir ezzor in two parts. Access to the highway happened after the impact in the quarter Arabes, where militants have occupied ceramic plant.
By mid-afternoon on 16 January, SAA was able to hold on to the hospital, “Assad” and the adjacent structure. The Caliphate is not able to achieve immediate success. About who controls the University district of al-Furat and the outskirts of an army base “Panorama” are rather contradictory information, but judging from the lack of triumphant reports from the Caliphate, it is likely the same for the Syrians left.
In the Internet appeared photos armed with AKM man of Slavic appearance in fatigues with no visible insignia, but in a stripe of the Russian flag. Location attributed as Syria (the Palmyra). Attention was drawn to the armored vehicle Iveco 65E19WM (LMV).