The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian military have made a secret deal dividing the psheres of influence in the provinces of Raqqah and Deir Ezzor, the al Modon Online website reported.
The agreement was reportedly reached in the village of Ukayrshah on July 20 and was backed by Russia. According to the agreement, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and pro-government tribal forces will be able to gain areas in the southern and southeastern Raqqah countryside and the northwestern Deir Ezzor countryside without any resistance or antagonism from the SDF.
According to the report, this will allow government forces, backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces, to advance towards Deir Ezzor from the countryside of Raqqah.
The article argues that some 400 members of the Tiger Forces and the Tribal Forces with battle tanks, multiple rocket launches and other equipment wer deployed in the Ukayrshah and Dahla areas. This force is a part of the Syrian military grouping involved in the operation against ISIS in the southern Raqqah countryside. The total number of Tribal Forces fighters involved in the operation is about 4,000.
According to the agreement, the SDF allegedly abandoned plans to captured the western Deir Ezzor countryside. The wider goal of the agreement is to allow government forces to advance on Deir Ezzor from two directions: from the southern Raqqah countryside and from the eastern Palmyra countryside.