Following initial claims that Russian airstrikes hit the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Deir Ezzor on Monday, pro-SDF media outlets started spreading reports that government forces were shelling the SDF in the area with mortars and rockets (most ikely BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers).
According to a hard-core pro-Kurdish/US media outlet, Hawarnews, the mortar and rocket shelling started after alleged Russian airstrikes on SDF positions near the Koniku gas factory north of Deir Ezzor city.
The SDF seized the area on September 23 while ISIS was fiercely attacking the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies on the east bank of the Euphrates. It’s interseting to note that ISIS prefers to combat the SAA and just ignores a large part of the SDF advances in Deir Ezzor province.
If the reports about the Russian airstrikes and Syrian shelling are true, this is a clear signal that the Syrian-Iranian-Russian coalition is not going to ignore hostile actions of the US-led coalition and its allies against its forces in the province.
On Sunday, the ministry revealed photos showing the US Special Operations Forces safely operating in the ISIS-held area north of Deir Ezzor. At the same day, alleged ISIS shelling killed Russian Lieutenant General Valery Asapov near Deir Ezzor city. According to reports, Asapov was a commander of Russian task forces in Deir Ezzor and Raqqah provinces.