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Exclusive Photos: Russian Forces Help Syrian Army Ambush ISIS Tanks as March on Deir ez-Zor Begins

Russia Insider has obtained photographs indicating Russian forces are on the ground as the march on Deir ez-Zor begins 

The Syrian Army is advancing against ISIS on all fronts—North, south, and center. 

We've previously reported on the SAA's steady advances in eastern Aleppo in northern Syria. And today we reported on the Syrian Arab Army's stunning success in clearing a huge ISIS pocket south of Palmyra.

<figcaption>Russian advisors keep an eye on the attack</figcaption>
Russian advisors keep an eye on the attack

But perhaps most importantly, we now know the Syrian army has also begun to advance eastwards from Palmyra on the road to Deir ez-Zor.

So far they have reached Arak oil field which puts them almost halfway from Palmyra to Suknah—the first big stop on the way to Deir ez-Zor.

The Russian-trained "5th Corps" of the Syrian Army is leading the advance, and judging by the photographs we've been sent by our source in the field, Russian forces are involved as well—not just in the air, but on the ground as well. 

A hundred thousand people have been encircled and besieged In Deir ez-Zor, first by rebels and then by ISIS, for over three years now.

Tip of the spear -- The units involved are the easternmost Syrian units in the theater not counting the defenders of Deir ez-Zor themselves

Russia Insider has obtained exclusive photographs of an ambush in which Syrian troops spotted a retreating ISIS group with tanks near Arak oil field. Syrian forces were able to take out two ISIS tanks, after which a pair of Russian Air Force attack helicopters—an Mi-28 and an Mi-35—arrived at the scene to deal some more damage to the fleeing ISIS forces. 

A more old-fashioned technical with a 23mm auto-cannon mounted on GAZ Sadko rather than a Toyota.

Infantry takes cover

T-62 engages the enemy

Perhaps the most interesting photo of them all. Among all those beat up vehicles is a brand new BPM-97 (Kamaz Vystrel). It's a modern Russian mine-resistant truck which is not even particularly common in Russia, much less in Syria. Next to it are three pasty guys in matching salmon helmets – in all likelihood Russian advisors watching over their charges.

The cavalry arrives: Mi-35 left, Mi-28 right


Direct hit



Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified the vehicle in the first photograph. It's a GAZ Sadko, not a Kamaz. 

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