On October 28, ISIS fighters recaptured the towns of al-Susah, al-Baghuz al-Fawqani and Muzan in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside. Thus the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have lost all the positions it had managed to liberate since the beginning of its military operation in the Ephrata Valley more than a month ago.
The ISIS-linked news agency, Amaq, is yet to provide further information on this important development. However, we know that the terrorist group launched a series of successful attacks on US-backed forces in the Euphrates Valley over the last two weeks.
Qassim Musleh, a commander in the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), confirmed to the al-Mayadeen TV that the SDF’s positions in the Euphrates Valley are collapsing and held the U.S. responsible for that. According to Musleh, the Iraqi military and the PMU are currently on high alert as ISIS is approaching the Iraqi border.
“There is an American plan to bring things back to square one in the battle against ISIS … The U.S. halted its support for the SDF, which facilitated ISIS advance,” Musled told the Lebanese channel.
A day earlier, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the US-led coalition paused its aerial operations in the Euphrates Valley, which allowed ISIS fighters to kill more than 41 fighters and commanders of the SDF within few hours.
Some Syrian activists said that the bad weather had forced the US-led coalition to slow down its operation. However, others believe that the U.S. is not really interested in ending ISIS presence in the Euphrates Valley because it is serving as an excuse to keep its troops in Syria.