In an interview with the pro-Assad Lebanese Press, Issam Zahreddine emphasized that he is staying in Deir Ezzor until lifting of the siege imposed by Daesh on Assad’s forces.
He said, “If they wanted the entire province to fall, it would have fallen a long time ago. Jaysh Al-Fateh is stronger than Daesh. Daesh captured half of the region just with “Takbeer’’.”
He added, “Deir Ezzor province and the eastern region in general is the most strategic and important area. It is an oil rich region and it consists of large food resources, as well as a strategic geographic location.”
Issam is considered the most important commander of Assad’s forces operating in Deir Ezzor. The Assad’s Special Forces-linked group known as ‘Nafed Assadeddine” is led by him.
As Daesh is on the retreat in many different areas, including Al-Bab, Al-Raqqa and Mosul, it is expected that the organization might attempt to launch an offensive in Deir Ezzor in order to capture the remaining areas that are still under the control of the Assad regime.