What is Behind the Escalation of ISIS Operations in the Syrian Badia?

An ISIS poster in the central Syrian town of Sukhnah with the flags of pro-government fighters after the Syrian government took control of the area (AFP)
Jusoor Center for Studies has outlined the factors contributing to the increase in ISIS activities against Syrian regime forces in the Syrian Badia region. In a recent report, the center highlighted that ISIS carried out seven attacks within the first three days of the year, resulting in casualties among regime forces. According to the center, these attacks are seen as a continuation of the group’s strategy, aiming to control Badia roads, weaken Iranian militias, and engage regime forces.

The report suggests that ISIS cells leverage existing conditions and coordination to launch simultaneous attacks in the targeted area. Looking ahead, the center anticipates a further escalation of these operations, emphasizing the group’s goal of securing funding by seizing vehicles, ammunition, and weapons in the attacked locations. Additionally, ISIS aims to pressure checkpoints to withdraw from the area by persistently targeting and continuing attacks.

The center concludes that ISIS seeks to gain almost complete control over communication routes in the Badia region, preparing for the next phase of repositioning and conducting attacks on central cities like Sukhna.

On the first of January, the organization launched an attack on the positions of the Qaterji militia in the Kharata oil field / Bir Qusayba and Mazraa / south of Deir Ezzor, killing 6 members, wounding 4 others and burning two tanks.

This also coincided with an attack on a checkpoint of the “Quds Brigade” militia on the Shula-Kabajib road, west of Deir Ezzor, which killed at least 3 members.

On the second of this month, the organization attacked two checkpoints of the “17th Division” on the road between Maadan, south of Raqqa, and Al-Shula, west of Deir Ezzor.

This attack killed 9 members and wounded 20 others, and the regime forces withdrew from the checkpoints towards the cities of Tabqa and Sukhna.

The organization’s operatives also managed to destroy three military vehicles, damage one, and seize another carrying operatives heading to support the checkpoint.

It is worth noting that the group targeted in late December a bus sleeping for regime forces near the city of Palmyra, east of Homs, killing 7 members and wounding 10 others.


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