On September 22, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and other pro-government factions, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, are developing momentum against ISIS terrorists in the two main areas:
- on the western bank of the Euphrates, northwest of Deir Ezzor city;
- on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, northeast of Deir Ezzor city.
On the western bank, government forces conducted a surprise attack against ISIS unts deplyoed southeast of the ISIS strong point of Maadan and liberated a number of villages, including Halbiy, Zalbiya, Qasabi and Maadan Atiq.
With this advance, the SAA and its allies de-facto created a Maadan pocket and encircled remaining ISIS members inside it. If this pocket falls into hands of the SAA in the near future, the Syrian military will be able to free a notable force for future operations in eastern Syria.
On the eastern bank, the SAA and its allies repelled a sereis of ISIS attacks on the villages of of Marat and Mazlum and captured Khusham village, located on the road between the area controlled by US-backed forces and a road towards the border with Iraq.
Clashes also continued in Saqer Iland in northern Deir Ezzor. ISIS fiercely defends it because the island could become an important foothold for government forces advancing inside Deir Ezzor and its northeastern countryside.
At the same time, the situation remained unclear with Al-Isba and Tabiye oil/gas fields. On September 21, pro-Kurdish sources claimed that the SDF has seized them. However, no photos or videos from the area have appeared so far. Local sources report that a figihting is ongoing in the oil fields area. Thus, it’s possible that the SDF has not been able to secure the fields yet.
Photos from Saqer Iland:
Photos from the ISIS side in the same area: