On August 26th, reports surfaced suggesting that the Russian Army, together with the Syrian Arab Army, are preparing to expand their area of control to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
The Russian military, together with the Syrian army, have built a temporary bridge across the Euphrates River in the province of Deir ez-Zor, the head of the ferry, Nikolai Glukhov told RIA.
He added that the location of the river crossing in the province was chosen taking into account the depth and strength of the current.
“More than four and a half meters (depth) – this is a critical water level. That is, the pontoon may not stay on the water’s edge, it can simply be carried away or flooded,” said Glukhov.
The bridge was deployed in cooperation between the Russian and Syrian armies who gained extensive experience during the operation.
“Our Russian comrades are very demanding. They have a work plan, and we stick to it, even if it seems to us that we can do everything,” said Ibrahim al-Amam, a participant in the construction of the crossing, lieutenant of the engineering service of the Syrian army.
After the crossing was established, the passage of military equipment under a smoke screen began.
In parallel with the established permanent ferry on the Euphrates, there is also a temporary ferry. It is necessary during the rainy season, when the water level in the river may rise above critical.
Ferry drivers are trained by Russian specialists using equipment that was also brought from Russia.
“We don’t have much experience so far, but we have good teachers from Russia. The ferry is simple and reliable, you can rely on it in difficult times for crossing. The most difficult thing is to transport tanks – they are very heavy. Almost at the limit of the capabilities. But I have already performed such tasks,” Ferry driver Abdel Qari Hani told reporters.
In addition to military equipment, civilian vehicles, for example, trucks with trailers, also pass through the temporary crossing.
There is an alternative route, but for those engaged in cargo transportation it is longer.
“I deliver various goods and travel here several times a day. There is another bridge down the river, it was built by the Iranians – mainly for their own needs. But it is much smaller, it is more difficult to ride on it. And you have to pay for it, for me – expensive,” said truck driver Khalid Dauth.
All equipment – military and civilian – is carefully checked before entering a ferry or crossing. The Euphrates River flows through the territory of three states, its total length is about 2.7 thousand kilometers.
It would appear that the time has come for the Russian Army and the Syrian Arab Army to begin clearing out the area which is reportedly a sort of breeding ground for ISIS militants.
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