December 12, 2017 - 17:23 AMT
Islamic State launches shock offensive against Syrian army

Islamic State forces have carried-out a surprise offensive against the Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitaries, crossing from the eastern bank of the Euphrates River to attack pro-government units on the western shore, Al-Masdar News reports.

According to fresh reports from military-affiliated sources, an IS strike force stationed on the eastern shore of the Euphrates carried out a powerful cross-river assault against the Syrian Arab Army late yesterday, striking military positions north of Abu Kamal.

Although the exact number of IS militants who carried out the assault remains unclear, it appears that jihadist fighters – making use of surprise – nearly managed to overrun army defenses along the western shore of the Euphrates.

In the end however, Syrian army forces repelled the attack, killing part of the IS assault group and driving the surviving militants back across the river to their starting points on the eastern shore.

Whilst this particular assault was rebuffed, the Syrian Army may remain exposed to such attacks until the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces completes its operation to clear the eastern shore of the Euphrates.