Tensions are rapidly gorwing between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Syrian government forces in the province of Deir Ezzor, north of the provincial capital.
Last week, the SDF used an intense fighting between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and ISIS and seized Isba and Tabiyeh oil and gas fields located north of Khusham village on the east bank of the Euphrates. Separately, the SDF pushed towards al-Suwar village deep inside Deir Ezzor province.
This situation as well as repeated claims in pro-SDF media that the group will oppose attempts of government forces to develop the momentum on the east bank.
On Monday, the SDF media wing directly accused the Russian Aerospace Forces of bombing its positions near the Conico gas factroy. At the same time, pro-SDF media outlets started spreading reports that Syrian government forces are using mortars and rocket launch systems to shell its positions in the oil gas fields area.
The SDF Command released a statement accusing Russia of supportign ISIS against the SDF and claimed that the SDF “would use our right of lawful defense”.
“Meantime our fighters are progressing to liberate our people east of the Euphrates within al-Jazeera Tempest campaign, the Russian and regime forces launched an attack on our fighters in Conico Factory, al-Azba Station and textile factory with cannons and warplanes. Moreover, the bombardment resulted in martyring and wounding a number of the fighters. It is worth noting that we are advancing in coordination with the Global Coalition Forces, and they avoid us to not get into side conflicts and waste energies which are supposed to be used in fighting terrorism and terrorists.
We strongly condemn the Russian aggressive attacks and their allies that serve terrorism, and we assure that we would not stand idly by, and we would use our right in the lawful defense.
We appeal to the Russia Federation to stop its aggressive attitude towards our peoples and its valiant troops,” the statement reads.
The SDF came a day after the Russian Defense Ministry said that the US Special Operations Forces were safely operating in the ISIS-held area north of Deir Ezzor. Furthermore, at the same day, Russia’s Lieutenant General Valery Asapov was killed as a result of the ISIS shelling near Deir Ezzor city.
Separately on Monday, an intense fighting continued between the SAA and ISIS in Saqr Island east of Deir Ezzor. ISIS reportedly involved a large part of its resources in the province to defend the ISIS-held, northern part of Deir Ezzor city.
Government forces had deployed additional reinforcements and increased pressure on ISIS in the area. However, the SAA and its allies were not able to make any breakthrough on the east bank.
Meanwhile, the Russian state-run media outlet Sputnik released reported that there were no clashes between US-backed forces and ISIS in Deir Ezzor province citing Syrian opposition Popular Diplomacy Movement secretary and member of Astana opposition platform Mahmoud Afandi.
“It’s very easy to explain. The United States, the European Union and Turkey have their own people in Daesh, so they can coordinate with them their [ISIS] withdrawals without military activities,” Afandi said according to Sputnik. “The Turks entered it [Jarabulus] without fighting. There, too, Daesh [ISIS] just decided to withdraw. Because their people agreed about withdrawal. Why is it happening now? Now the situation is pressing. De-escalation zones have been created, the US military system is under pressure, because Russia kind of won the war… The United States has already begun to create some problems for the implementation of the de-escalation zones.”