On November 3, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reached a deal with ISIS fighters that allows 600 civilians who are stuck in the Hawijat Kati’ north of Deir Ezzor city to enter the SDF-held Husseiniyah town in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor, according to Syrian opposition sources.
The sources added that the SDF and ISIS were also negotiating the fate of ISIS fighters who were stuck in Hawijat Kati’. According to the sources the SDF wanted all ISIS fighters to surrender to it, while ISIS fighters wanted the SDF to allow them to withdraw towards ISIS-held areas in the southern Deir Ezzor countryside.
ISIS fighters likely chosed to negotiate with SDF, because the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) refused them to withdraw. Moreover, ISIS already reached an agreement with the SDF to evacuate Raqqa city on October 14.
On November 4, the SAA established control over Hawijat Kati and 20 ISIS members surrenderd to it. It remains unclear how many ISIS members had withdrawn to the SDF-held area.
In the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside, the SDF announced that is fighters captured Adel, al-Kharja, al-Kuaser, al-Raghdiyah, Olaya and Bu Khir villages on November 3. SDF fighters killed 21 fighters of ISIS, and captured 4 others during their advance according to the SDF.
The SDF will likely resume its advance towards al-Bukamal city on the Syrian-Iraqi borders in the coming days. Furthermore, if the SAA attacked al-Bukamal from the Iraqi territory, the SDF will not be able to reach the city first.