Deir ez-Zor clashes (2011–14)
|2011–2014 Deir ez-Zor clashes|
|Part of the Syrian Civil War|
Situation in Deir ez-Zor in February 2016
Syrian Government controlISIS control
|Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas (rebel claim)||
||Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant|
|Commanders and leaders|
Maj. Gen. Issam Zahreddine|
(Republican Guard Brigade 104 commander)
Maj. Gen. Jameh Jameh †
(Head of Deir ez-Zor Military Intelligence)
(Ahfad Muhammad brigade)
Abu Salam Tabsah
(al-Nusra front commander)
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi|
(Caliph of ISIL)
||Brigade of al-Qaka||Unknown|
|9,000 soldiers and policemen, 150+ tanks||17,000 fighters (opposition claim, all withdrawn)||Unknown|
Protests against the Syrian government and violence has been ongoing in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor since March 2011, as part of the wider Syrian Civil War, but large-scale clashes started following a military operation in late July 2011 to secure the city of Deir ez-Zor. The rebels took over most of the province by late 2013, leaving only small pockets of government control around the city of Deir ez-Zor.
Since late 2013, ISIS became increasingly involved in the battle, but retreated tactically in February 2014. Still, in April 2014, ISIS launched a massive offensive, taking over all rebel areas. Heavy fighting continued in the city over the following years between government troops and ISIS. By mid-November 2016, it was reported that since the start of the fighting in Deir ez-Zor city five years earlier, around 3,000 anti-government jihadists and 2,500 pro-government fighters had been killed. Government forces were besieged but remained in control of 40 percent of the city and the military airport.
July 2011 – May 2012 clashes
On 31 July 2011, the government sent the Syrian Arab Army into several Syrian cities to control protests on the eve of Ramadan, as part of a nationwide crackdown, nicknamed the "Ramadan Massacre" by opposition activists. One of the cities was Deir ez-Zor.
On 17 August, the military ordered a partial retreat of its forces to let a police-guided group of journalist to tour the city. Tanks and armored vehicles moved from the city center to camps on the outskirts.
On 4 January 2012, security forces and government loyalists allegedly shot dead at least 22 people, most of them in the Deir ez-Zor province, activist groups said. At least 15 civilians died on 10 January.
During UN-brokered cease-fire
On 30 April 2012, rebels attacked an army base in the city, killing 12 soldiers. Security forces responded with heavy-machine gun and mortar fire, killing at least one civilian and demolishing a school building.
On 19 May 2012, a car bomb exploded in the town, killing nine people. The blast struck a parking lot for a military intelligence complex.
On 22 May, it was reported that two protesters were killed by Syrian police in the presence of U.N observers, who immediately left the area. By this point, it was reported that many towns and villages were under rebel control in the Deir ez-Zor province.
2012–2014 battle for control
June 2012 fighting
On 13 June, hundreds of Syrian Army troops, backed by tanks, stormed Deir ez-Zor in response to attacks by the Free Syrian Army in the previous week which destroyed several tanks and APCs and killed dozens of soldiers. Large swaths of the province fell into rebel hands after the alliance between the ruling Alawite elite and Sunni tribes collapsed, leaving government troops with stretched supply lines.
On 20 June, the Syrian army heavily shelled positions held by the Free Syrian Army in the city of Abu Kamal, on the Iraqi border. At that time, residents of the Iraqi border town of Al-Qaim and activists inside Abu Kamal reported the intense shelling by the army had lasted 24 hours, but that the Free Syrian Army still held the city and the important border crossing.
On 23 June, fighting erupted at Deir ez-Zor airport after the FSA made an attempt to capture it. According to the rebels, 40 military officers, including a first-Lieutenant, defected together with their weapons. The result of the fighting remained unclear.
On 28 June, it was reported that the opposition almost entirely controlled the city of Deir ez-Zor, while the military continued its intense shelling, trying to take it back. Human rights activist groups stated that this assault with tanks and artillery had killed over 100 residents. The government also reportedly told doctors not to treat people at local hospitals and targeted with mortar fire hospitals that refused the command. Humanitarian aid workers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were targeted by the Army, killing one worker.
On 1 July, five rebels were killed planting an IED near the city.
On 7 July, state-controlled news agency SANA reported that regime forces clashed with a rebel group in the al-Sheik Yassin neighborhood, inflicting heavy losses on the rebels. Among the killed were Omar al-To'ma and Qusai Abdul-Majd al-Ani. Four armed pick-up trucks belonging to the rebels were also destroyed during the clash.
July–August 2012 FSA offensive
By 19 July, FSA had seized control of all Syrian-Iraqi border crossings. The rebels executed 22 Syrian soldiers under the eyes of Iraqi soldiers and even cut the arms and the legs of one colonel, according to the vice minister of Iraq.
Despite a statement by the Iraqi deputy PM asserting that FSA controlled all four border crossings, though it had been confirmed that only three of them were still active because the Iraqi government had already closed one of them, a Reuters journalist on the Rabia border crossing confirmed the presence there of regular Syrian army, with Iraqi soldiers reporting no activity of Free Syrian Army in the vicinity of the crossing. Three other border crossings with Iraq and Turkey were, however, in rebel hands.
On 21 July, the rebels controlled only the Abu Kamal border crossing with Iraq, adjacent to the city of Abu Kamal, after the arrival of Syrian Army reinforcements to the other two border crossings with the country.
The Guardian covered the fighting in Deir ez-Zor, reporting on twenty rebels groups confronting the Syrian Army in a deadly and prolonged stalemate, with rebels claiming to control 90% of the Deir ez-Zor Governorate.
The al-Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaida, was also increasingly conspicuous in fighting the Syrian government in the Deir ez-Zor governorate, at times working directly with the Free Syrian Army, although relations between the groups may have been contentious.
On 1 August, the FSA released a video which suggested they had captured the military headquarters in the town of Mayadin. On 3 August, Reuters reported that the FSA had seized a complex for political security and other buildings near Mayadin and also killed thirteen security personnel and captured three intelligence officers during the battle. A rebel commander in the area also told Reuters that only one army outpost and an artillery position still remained under the control of the Syrian government near Mayadin.
On 7 August, rebels attacked an oil field in the area which resulted in fierce clashes that left four rebels and six to nine soldiers dead. The attack was repelled. On 9 August, the FSA released another video purportedly showing them occupying a military security complex in Mayadin on 7 August. On 9 August, it was also claimed by British humanitarian Peter Clifford that the Syrian Armed Forces only had three army outposts remaining in the province's countryside and that they were being attacked.
On 13 August, FSA claimed to have shot down a Syrian Air Force MiG-23 over Deir ez-Zor. Shortly afterwards video of its downing was released on YouTube and Syrian opposition and Israel Radio sources the pilot was captured by the rebels. It was the first loss of a government fighter-bomber aircraft. SANA later confirmed its lost warplane, insisting the plane was not shot down, but rather alleging technical problems which forced it to crash-land and the pilot to eject. Later, the rebels published another video showing a captured pilot named Colonel Fareer Mohammad Suleiman in their captivity.
On 14 August, a rebel fighter stationed in the area told PBS Newshour that "all the rural areas are under our control and the cities of Deir ez-Zor, Mayadin and Abu Kamal are a battlefield between us and the Assad army." Again that day, Reuters reported the rebels controlled at least 50% of the city of Deir ez-Zor and that those remaining regime troops were inexperienced and trapped inside security compounds in the city center and on the northern outskirts. A Western diplomat monitoring the Syrian military said that rebel forces in Deir ez-Zor were fragmented but that Syrian Army forces lacked the numbers and supply lines to defeat them. Most government departments have shut and public workers are unpaid in what activists call collective punishment of a tightly knit population siding increasingly with rebels after alliances between the Damascus elite and tribal chiefs unraveled. An estimated one-third of Deir ez-Zor city's inhabitants have fled to the bordering governorates of Al-Hasakah and Ar-Raqqah.
August 2012 – May 2013 continued fighting
On 22 August, the AFP reported that the FSA seized parts of the city of al-Bukamal, including an intelligence office and military checkpoints. Later that day, Al Jazeera reported from the Iraqi border town of Qaim that Free Syrian Army fighters had launched an attack on the only military base near al-Bukamal still in the hands of the regular army. The army had used this base to shell al-Bukamal. Heavy fighting was ongoing. Also, in the city of Deir ez-Zor, the army only held three bases on the outskirts of the city.
On 4 September, Al Jazeera reported the FSA took control of the head security compound in Deir ez-Zor city, driving loyalist forces out of one of their three remaining bases on the outskirts of the city.
On 5 September, the FSA claimed the Hamdan military airport near al-Bukamal was captured by rebels, after a three-day siege and an internal defection. However, rebels later acknowledged that the capture was only temporary, as Syrian troops just outside the base were able to force them to retreat, but also acknowledged that only dozens of Syrian troops in the area were able to survive the onslaught. The Hamdan airport was the last remaining place in the vicinity of al-Bukamal where pro-Assad forces kept their stations.
On 28 September, a rebel brigade commander said that after the rebels pulled back from al-Qusour and al-Joura neighborhoods, these locations were then stormed by units of the Syrian army which carried out summary executions. He also said that 80 percent of the city was in hands of FSA, with only a military airport and part of Mayadin District remaining in government hands. The Syrian Army also launched an operation to recapture the Rashidiya neighbourhood.
On 16 November, rebels seized the military airport of Hamdan, the final place that the government controlled in al-Boukamal. The airport was in fact a base used to transport farm products that was turned into a helicopter base. With the fall of al-Bukamal, the main military airport of Deir ez-Zor was the only regime military airbase in the region, thus creating the largest rebel controlled area in the country.
By 21 November, rebels controlled two of three major oilfields in the province and were using them to supply themselves with oil. They were preparing for the capture of the remaining one, but needed engineers to operate it. Plans to advance north into Kurdish-dominated Hasakah Province were reportedly also being made. On 30 November, SOHR reported that government troops abandoned the Omar oilfield east of Deir ez-Zor, which was soon occupied by opposition forces. Only five minor fields west of the city still remained under government control.
On 22 November, after 20 days long siege rebels have captured also Mayadin military base from which soldiers evacuated to Deir ez-Zor airbase thus forcing out any government elements from area spanning from Iraqi city to capitol of the province.
On 12 December 2012, the French Aid agency, Médecins Sans Frontières called for sick and wounded people to be evacuated from the besieged city.
On 11 January 2013, it was reported that the government controlled the neighborhoods of Al Qussour and joura (north west) and was shelling the neighborhoods of Alwrdi, Al-Jabaile, and Ar rushdia (south east).
On 29 January 2013, rebels captured the important Siyasiyeh bridge (and another smaller bridge)on the Euphrates river in Deir ez-Zor which connects Deir ez-Zor to Hasakah, after clashes with the Syrian Army. SOHR director, Rami Abdel Rahman claimed that "Siyasiyeh bridge is the most important in the area as it connects Deir ez-Zor to Hasakah. Its capture means that army supplies to Hasakah will be nearly completely severed." and that also "These gains in Deir ez-Zor are very important because this strategic city is the gateway to a region rich in oil and gas resources. If the rebels continue to progress and gain control of what is left of military-held posts, the Pioneers camp and Deir ez-Zor military airport, it will be the first major city to fall into the hands of the rebels." Elsewhere in Deir ez-Zor, activists claimed that rebels had also taken control of a government intelligence complex after five days of heavy fighting, with assistance from Islamist fighters. SOHR claimed that the rebels had taken control of the government complex, including the prison, from which they have freed at least eleven opposition figures. LCC also reported that the rebels captured a tank and three armored personnel carriers.
On 22 February, Free Syrian Army fighters captured a nuclear research facility in Al Kibar from the Syrian Army. The nuclear research facility was the same one which was attacked by an Israeli airstrike back in 2007.
On 2 May 2013 the Deir ez-Zor suspension bridge, built in during the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon period (1920−1941), was destroyed by shelling from the Free Syrian Army. That left the Siyasiyeh Bridge as the only connection across the Euphrates to the western section of Deir ez-Zor and the province of Hasakah, until its destruction in 2014.
June 2013 Hatla massacre
On 10 June, Shia pro-government fighters from the village of Hatla, east of Deir ez-Zor, attacked a nearby rebel position, killing four rebels. The next day, in retaliation for the attack, thousands of rebels attacked and captured the village, killing sixty residents, fighters and civilians, according to SOHR. Rebels also burned civilian houses during the takeover. ten rebel fighters were killed during the attack. one-hundred and fifty Shia residents fled to the nearby government-held village of Jafra.
On 14 June, the al-Sina'a neighborhood was bombarded by regular forces at the time when inhabitants of the neighborhood were protesting; no casualties were ascertained. Clashes were fierce between rebel and regular forces in the al-Jbeila and al-Rashdiya neighborhoods after military reinforcements came into al-Jbeila.
On 22 June, violence reignited between rebel and regular forces at the Mashfa al-Qalb (heart hospital) checkpoint of Deir ez-Zor city. One rebel fighter was shot by regular forces at the al-Mawt crossing.
August 2013 rebel offensive
On 13 August, clashes took place in Deir Ezzour city in the Rashdin suburb, as government forces attempt to storm it. Rebels earlier attacked the cardiac hospital in the city, no reports of losses. 4 rebels killed by clashes in al-Jbeila, Hawiqa and Sina'a neighbourhoods.
As of 20 August, the western Hawiqa neighborhood, including the local Baath Party headquarters, had fallen to the rebels. The opposition claimed that 160 government soldiers and dozens of rebels had died in the fight for Hawiqa. Government forces retaliated by bombarding the rebels from their positions in the Joura and Ghazi Ayyash districts. The FSA-affiliated Ahfad al-Rasul Brigade, recently supplied by Qatar with anti-aircraft missiles, played an important role in taking Hawiqa. On the same day, the Army hit rebel forces in Hawiqa district with tanks and multiple rocket launchers, and also battled them in territory separating Hawiqa from the district of Joura, opposition sources in the city said. The government was trying to regain Hawiqa because it could not afford the rebels to be so close to its most important stronghold of Joura and the Army camp there. Air force intelligence and military intelligence, two important security compounds in the city, were also located in the nearby Ghazi Ayyash district, and came within the range of rebel rocket-propelled grenades.
Further rebel progress
On 17 October, the chief of Syrian Military Intelligence in Deir Ez-Zor province, Major General Jameh Jameh, was assassinated in Deir ez-Zor. SOHR reported that he had been shot by a rebel sniper in the Rashdiya district of the city during a battle with rebel brigades.
On 27 December, rebel fighters seized control over the majority of the town of Al-Jafra, strategically adjacent to the Deir ez-Zor Military Airbase. However, three days later, Syrian troops, backed by units of the National Defense Force, recaptured Jafra.
On 10 February, the rebels took over all ISIS territory in Deir ez-Zor after all ISIS fighters retreated from the city. The next day, more than thirty FSA battalions and brigades in Deir ez-Zor united under a new coalition called "Mujahidi Deir Al-Zor Assembly".
ISIS offensive and aftermath
On 10 April, ISIS launched a three-pronged assault on rebel positions in and near the border town of al-Bukamal and reportedly took control of parts of the town. This marked the beginning of a two-month offensive that ended when, on 14 July, ISIS held all rebel-controlled neighborhoods in the provincial capital after expelling Nusra and other rebel groups. One day later, ISIS executed the rebel commander of al-Nusra in Deir ez-Zor. ISIS also wrested away all rebel-held towns and villages across the province, assuming control of between 95% and 98% of Deir Ez-Zor province.
September–November 2014 Army offensive
On 3 September, ISIS launched an attempt to capture the Deir-ez-Zor military airport, but the attempt was repelled and ISIS forces were forced to retreat 3 km from the base while the Army launched airstrikes on ISIS positions. According to the Army, ISIS lost at least 47 fighters.
Two days later, General Issam Zahreddine returned to Deir Ezzor with a convoy of 600 Republican Guard soldiers and 90 armed vehicles to reinforce the military airport defense. On 14 September, SAA reportedly destroyed a fortified base belonging to ISIS, killing 14 militants in the process. The next day, Special forces and Syrian Army engineers blew up the Siyasiyeh Bridge (Political Bridge), reportedly killing all the militants who were on it. ISIS thus lost the only available land route to move into parts of the city it controls. The offensive intensified on 11 October, when the Army stormed the Al-Ba’ajeen School in the Jubeileh district of the city. The school was used by IS as a headquarter.
On the night of 14–15 October, the Republican Guard 104th Brigade reportedly captured the village of Haweeja Saqr near Deir ez-Zor, killing 33 ISIS militants, including four field commanders, and captured another 15. Nine Republican Guard troops, including two officers, died in the fighting. On October 21, ISIS attacked the al-Sina'a industrial quarter of the city. Opposition sources claimed it managed to break through Army defences, but a military source stated that the attack was repulsed and resulted in the death of 23 militants, including Zakaria al-Aboush, a former Free Syrian Army commander of the Ansar al-Islam. Government troops also continued their offensive against Sakr Island in an attempt to create a buffer zone between ISIS-held areas and the old military airport.
On 24 October, ISIS again failed to storm the al-Sina'a industrial zone, suffering about 50 casualties and dozens of wounded according to the Army. By that point, the 104th was clashing with militants in the north of the island and was controlling most of it according to the Army. The Army claimed that the 104th reached the Al Anafat bridge between Saqr island and the city while remnants of ISIS in the north-eastern part of the island still clashed with government forces on October 26. Two days later, ISIS detonated a car bomb in a residential area on Sakr island, killing 3 civilians and wounding 11 others. The bombing was followed by intense clashes which reportedly left 44 jihadists dead while another 22 were captured. An ISIS drone was downed over the cemetery on the next day. According to the Army, government troops killed another 120 insurgents from 29 to 31 October, and managed to assert control over 90% of Sakr Island.
On 12 November, government troops reportedly captured the western bank fisheries on Sakr Island, which were used by ISIS to travel back and forth from the island to the mainland. A small network of tunnels was also discovered. ISIS suffered more casualties on 20 November after the 104th Brigade attacked their supply bases, sniper hideouts and repelled infiltration attempts. At least 33 militants were killed and 15 captured. ISIS positions in the Central Park on Sakr Island were further weakened.
On 28 November, according to the Army, its units carried out raids against ISIS positions in the Central Park on Sakr Island. It claimed that at least 17 ISIS fighters were killed and 24 were arrested throughout the city.
December 2014 ISIS offensive
On 3 December, ISIS launched an offensive in the direction of the Deir Ezzor military airbase. They reportedly managed to capture the al-Masemekeh Building after a suicide bomber detonated a car near it. The next day, ISIS reportedly advanced further and captured Al Mari'iyah village and also captured parts of the al-Jafra village, On 5 December, ISIS captured the al-Jafra village.
On 5 December, the Army launched a counter-attack and recaptured parts of Al Mari'iyah village and regained control of perimeter the Deir ez-Zor airbase from ISIS. The Army claimed that it had killed over one hundred ISIS militants since the start of the ISIS offensive. According to the SOHR, ISIS managed to capture some positions and military equipment on the mountain overlooking the city.
During the night of 6 December, ISIS took control over the missiles battalion to the northeast of the airport and tried to storm the airbase itself, but failed. ISIS also pulled back from the heights overlooking Deir ez-Zor after it was exposed to heavy aerial bombardment, which reportedly used chlorine. Since the start of the offensive, fifty-one soldiers and sixty-eight ISIS militants were killed.
- Karouny, Mariam (10 May 2013). "Insight: In eastern Syria oil smugglers benefit from chaos". Reuters.
- Yacoub, Khaled (20 August 2013). "Assad's forces counter rebel gains in Syria's Deir al-Zor". Reuters.
- Leverrier, Ignace (8 December 2013). "Deïr ez-Zor, à l'est de la Syrie. Des islamistes, des tribus et du pétrole…" (in French). Le Monde. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
- "Syrian government closes in on opposition stronghold in Yabroud". Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Siddique, Haroon; Whitaker, Brian (31 July 2012). "Syrian rebels 'overrun Aleppo police stations'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Top Syrian army general killed in battle". Al Jazeera.
- "EUR-Lex – 52011PC0887 – EN". Eur-lex.europa.eu.
- Weaver, Matthew; Whitaker, Brian (28 September 2012). "Syria crisis: fight for Aleppo – Friday 28 September 2012". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- "Rebels vow to continue fight 'until Assad gone'". Khaleej Times. 10 March 2013.
- "Rebels fighting against al-Assad rule fragmented, disorganized in Syria" (PDF). Hürriyet Daily News. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- Ignatius, David (30 November 2012). "Al-Qaeda affiliate playing larger role in Syria rebellion". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Soldiers metres away from IS in Syria's Deir Ezzor
- Syria's Ramadan massacre. The Washington Post. 2 August 2011
- 'Dozens dead' in Syria after Friday protests, Al Jazeera, 12 August 2011
- Syrian forces withdraw from flashpoint city. Channel NewsAsia.
- Syrian troops 'withdraw' from key cities. Al Jazeera. 17 August 2011.
- Associated, The (26 November 2011). "Activists report fierce battles in eastern Syria". Haaretz.
- Ryan Rifai. "Senior Syrian official defects over crackdown". Al Jazeera.
- "Syria Live Blog Tue, 10 Jan 2012, 13:27 GMT+3". Blogs.aljazeera.net. 10 January 2012.
- "Nine from one family among 10 killed in Syrian shelling as rebels kill 12 troops". Mar15.info. 1 May 2012.
- "Deaths reported in Syrian police shooting". Al Jazeera.
- "Syria army enters city close to Iraq border". Ynetnews. 20 June 1995.
- "Syrian government forces shell homes in town bordering Iraq – Al Jazeera Blogs". Al Jazeera. 20 July 2012.
- "40 Syrian military officers defect with weapons". English.ahram.org.eg.
- "Syria shells Deir ez-Zor for second day, 20 dead: activists". Reuters. 24 June 2012.
- "Seven Pro-Assad TV Staff among 36 Killed in Syria". Naharnet.com. 27 June 2012.
- Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor under heavy government shelling for seventh day
- Authorities Continue Crackdown on Terrorist Groups in Douma, Deir ez-Zor, Hama, Homs and Lattakia Archived 30 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- "الوكالة العربية السورية للأنباء - Syrian Arab News Agency". Archived from the original on 4 July 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- Syria troops pound Homs: watchdog
- "الوكالة العربية السورية للأنباء - Syrian Arab News Agency". Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "الوكالة العربية السورية للأنباء - Syrian Arab News Agency". Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "Syrian rebels took control of all border crossings between Iraq and Syria on Thursday". Al Jazeera. 19 July 2012.
- "Syria rebels 'control all Iraq border points'". Google. 19 July 2012. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012.
- "Syria rebels hold 2 of 3 Iraq border posts: officials". Yahoo News. Agence France-Presse. 21 July 2012. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Syria army retains grip on border gate with N.Iraq". Trust.org. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012.
- "Syria rebels hold one Iraq border crossing, officials say". Nowlebanon.com. 21 July 2012.
- Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in Deir el-Zour (24 July 2012). "Inside Syria: rebels and regime trapped in cycle of destruction". The Guardian. London.
- Abdul-Ahad, Ghaith (30 July 2012). "Al-Qaida turns tide for rebels in battle for eastern Syria". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- "لواء القعقاع يسيطر على مفرزة أمن الدولة في منطقة...". YouTube. 1 August 2012.
- "Syrian rebels say seize security complex in eastern province". Reuters. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "10 Killed as Rebels Attack Syria Oil Field". Naharnet.com. 7 August 2012.
- "FNN Syria Deir Ezzor al Mayadeen The... – F.N.N | Syria Flash English". Facebook.
- "Syria News". Peter Clifford Online.
- Issacharoff, Avi (13 August 2012). "Rebels shoot down air force fighter jet near Deir ez-Zor". The Times of Israel.
- Mroue, Bassew (13 August 2012). "Syrian pilot ejects, rebels say they downed plane". CTV News. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "Syria crisis: Rebels 'shoot down warplane'". BBC. 13 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "Syria's Wild, Wild East | Aug. 14, 2012". PBS. Archived from the original on 15 August 2012.
- Yacoub, Khaled (14 August 2012). "Assad's Aleppo focus allows rebel gains in Syria's east". Reuters.
- "Syria army steps up Damascus, Aleppo strikes". Agence France-Presse. 22 August 2012.
- "Rebels struggle to take Syrian army base along Iraqi border – Al Jazeera Blogs". Al Jazeera. 22 August 2012.
- Reuters in Beirut (1 September 2012). "Syrian rebels 'seize air defence base' | World news". The Guardian. London.
- "Syrian rebels take control of military security branch headquarters in Der al-Zour – Al Jazeera Blogs". Al Jazeera. 4 September 2012.
- "articles/2012/09/05/236160". english.alarabiya.net. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- "Rebels attack Syrian military airport, say shot down jet | Reuters". Reuters. 5 September 2012.
- MacFarquhar, Neil (4 November 2012). "Syria's Rebels Open Talks on Forging United Political Front". The New York Times.
- "Turkey urges recognition of Syrian opposition – Middle East". Al Jazeera.
- Solomon, Erika (17 November 2012). "Syria rebels seize airport near Iraqi border: activists". Reuters.
- Solomon, Erika (18 November 2012). "Syria rebels say seize airport near Iraqi border". Reuters.
- Enders, David. "With Syria's eastern oilfields in rebel hands, a brisk business in pirated crude grows". The Miami Herald.
- "Syrian troops reportedly withdrew from Omar oil field, one of the last regime positions east of Deir Ezzor". Al Jazeera. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- "Syrian rebels seize army base on Iraqi border". France 24. 22 November 2012.
- "هاتفيا: ثائر الكمالي- ناشط إعلامي- دير الزور". Syria Tomorrow. Nov 24, 2012. Retrieved Nov 24, 2012.
- "Latest Syria developments". NOW Lebanon. 3 December 2012.
- "هاتفياً: سمر الفراتي - عضو شبكة سوريا الحرة من دير الزور". Syria Tomorrow. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Dozens found shot execution-style in Syria". The Australian. 29 January 2013.
- "Syria fighters capture a security agency in Deir al-Zor | Middle East". World Bulletin. 29 January 2013.
- Mourtada, Hania; Cowell, Alan (29 January 2013). "Both Sides Trade Blame for 'Massacre' in Syria as Refugee Exodus Swells". The New York Times.
- "Residents Flee Shelling in Damascus District amid Heavy Fighting in Deir Ezzor — Naharnet". Naharnet.com. 2013-03-16. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- "Report: Syrian rebels take over Al-Kibar nuclear facility – Israel News, Ynetnews". Ynetnews. 20 June 1995.
- Syria Deeply.org: Covering the Crisis blog — "Crossing the Bridge of Death in Deir Ezzor"; 15 November 2013; accessed 24 August 2015.
- YouTube.com: "Destruction of the suspension bridge over the Euphrates River in the city of Deir Ezzor"; posted 2 May 2013; accessed 24 August 2015.
- Breakingnews.sy: :Deir ez-Zor bridge destroyed"
- "Syrian opposition fighters shoot down regime helicopter in east – Today's Zaman, your gateway to Turkish daily news". Today's Zaman. 6 May 2013.
- Syrian rebels attack village in country’s east, killing dozens of local Shiites, activists say
- "Reports of 'massacre' in eastern Syria". Al Jazeera. 12 June 2013.
- "Deir Izzor province: The al-Sina'a... – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights". Facebook.
- "Deir Izzor province: Violent clashes... – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights". Facebook.
- "Dozens of Syrian soldiers and rebels killed as opposition advances on Deir Ezzor, Agence France-Presse". The National. Abu Dhabi. 13 August 2013.
- "Deir Ezzour province". Facebook.com.
- Yacoub, Khaled (20 August 2013). "Assad's forces counter rebel gains in Syria's Deir al-Zor – Yahoo News". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013.
- "Deir Ezzour province: A fighter from... – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights". Facebook.
- "Syrian military spy chief killed in battle – Middle East". Al Jazeera.
- Loveday Morris (17 October 2013). "Rebels kill top Syrian intelligence chief". The Washington Post.
- "Syria: Largest Oil Field 'Captured By Rebels'". Sky News. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- Rebels take control over new village near Deir Al-Zor Airbase | Syria Newsdesk
- "استعادة السيطرة على الجفرة". SOHR. 30 December 2013.
- "http://www.syrianperspective.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/1422452_10200930698570843_1204486355_n1.jpg.". syrianperspective.com. Retrieved 27 August 2014. External link in
- "Al Qaeda splinter group quits oil-rich Syrian province". Reuters. 10 February 2014.
- "Formation of new military assembly in Deir Al-Zor". Syria Newsdesk. 12 February 2014.
- "Clashes in Der-Ezzor and Bombardment on areas in Hama". Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Syria Qaeda loses ground to jihadist rivals on Iraq border". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- "Sunni jihadi group expels rivals from Syrian city - US News". usnews.com. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- "Syria conflict: Isis marches further into Syria tipping the balance of power in the civil war - Middle East - World - The Independent". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- Agencies. "'Islamic State' expels rivals from Syria city". Aljazeera.com. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- "IS Killed More than 700 Syria Tribe Members in 2 Weeks". Naharnet. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Deir ez-Zor Erupts in Violence; Firefights Ongoing at the Deir ez-Zor Military Airport". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- Leith Fadel. "Large Convoy of Republican Guard Reinforcements Arrive in Deir Ezzor; General Zahreddine Among the Men". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Leith Fadel. "ISIS Halts Offensive at Deir Ezzor Military Airport; Siasiyya Bridge Destroyed". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Liveleak.com: "Syrian army releases a video of the Siyasiyeh bridge being blown up"; 16 September 2014.
- "Syrian army destroys ISIS-controlled bridge". The Daily Star. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Leith Fadel. "SAA Captures ISIS Base in Deir Ezzor; Scores of ISIS Fighters Killed". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Battle Map Update: Republican Guard Overwhelms ISIS in Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar News. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
- "ISIS Launches an Attack on Al-Sina'a in Deir Ezzor; SAA Continues Offensive on Sakr Island". Al-Masdar News. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- "Over 175 ISIS Fighters Killed in Deir Ezzor; SAA Advances at Sakr Island". Al-Masdar News. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Peto Lucem on Twitter: "Loy.s.: #SAA cut the last supply route of #Islamic_State on #Saqer_Island. This indicates Al Anafat Bridge is now under #SAA control. #Syria"". Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Violent Clashes Reported in Deir Ezzor; 44 ISIS Militants Identified Among the Dead". Al-Masdar News. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- "Breaking: Syrian Army Downs ISIS Drone in Deir Ezzor; Heavy Fighting in East Homs". Al-Masdar News. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
- "ISIS Suffers Heavy Casualties in Deir Ezzor; Syrian Army Destroys 2 Tunnels". Al-Masdar. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- Leith Fadel. "ISIS Loses More Ground at Sakr Island; Civilian Executed for Apostasy in Deir Ezzor". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "ISIS Suffers Heavy Losses at Central Park on Sakr Island". Al-Masdar. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "10404239_359036804274557_1607050207448631678_n Deir Ezzor: The Republican Guard Continues Their Offensive at Sakr Island". Al-Masdar. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "19 members from the regime forces and NDF killed in Deir Ezzor". SOHR. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- "Elijah J. Magnier on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "Der-Ezzor province: 4-12-2014". SOHR. 4 December 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
- "ISIS takes control on al-Jafra village and kills no less than 30 soldiers in regime forces". SOHR. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
- "counter-offensive army in area of Deir ez Zor airport". Elijah J. Magnier. 5 December 2014.
- "Deir Ezzor: Syrian Army Asserts Control Over the Mountains". Al-Masdar. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
- "The number of IS militants...". SOHR. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
- "ISIS started attack on Der ez Zor military airport". SOHR. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- "Regime forces use Chlorine gas to stop ISIS advances in Der-Ezzor military airport". SOHR. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- "قوات النظام تجبر "الدولة الإسلامية" على التراجع في المطار والانسحاب من الجبل، وقيادي ومقاتلان فرنسيان و33 سورياً من بين أكثر من 68 لقوا مصرعهم". SOHR. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- "111 killed in 3 days of violent clashes between government forces and ISIS in Der-Ezzor". SOHR. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014.