On April 9, an attack by ISIS claimed the life of a brigade commander of the Deir Ezzor Military Council (DMC) and two of his guards.
The DMC is the local branch of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir Ezzor. The council’s forces control the governorate’s southeastern countryside.
ISIS cells targeted the commander’s vehicle with an improvised explosive device (IED) near the town of al-Shheell. The commander was leading a force that was on its way to the SDF headquarters in the town, which had been attacked with rockets by the terrorists.
The Amaq news agency claimed that the commander, Mustafa al-Sheikh Ali, and three fighters of the DMC were killed were injured in the attack. Three others were allegedly injured.
The DMC acknowledged the death of al-Sheikh. However, it claimed that he died as a result of an “accident” involving a landmine. According to the council, two of the commander’s guards were killed along with him.
These claims were dismissed by sources close to the SDF, including the North Press Agency. The sources confirmed that al-Sheikh was killed in an IED attack.
Al-Sheikh was reportedly the commander of the al-Busayrah Brigade, one of several DMC-led units in southeastern Deir Ezzor.
The attack on al-Sheikh highlights how ISIS cells in southeastern Deir Ezzor are developing their tactics. The terrorists’ attacks are becoming bolder and more complicated. Meanwhile, the SDF continues to rely on old, failed tactics.
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