On December 23, Hassan Qamishlo, a commander of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operation in Deir Ezzor governorate, said that the operations against ISIS in eastern Syria is “nearing completion” and accused the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) of coordinating with ISIS, according to the Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA).
According to Qamishlo, the SAA is currently coordinating with ISIS to block the advance of the SDF and attacks its positions. The SDF commander also claimed that the Damascus government is trying to promote itself as the strongest force in Syria through its supposed “coordination with ISIS”.
“The threats of the Baathist regime in recent times coinciding with the statements of its president al-Assad, which emerged with the end of IS mercenaries, those who were defeated by the (SDF) resistance and the struggle. The regime wants from these threats to draw attention from our victories and try to show itself that it is still strong and capable. And it can confront our forces ,” Qamishlo said according ANHA.
The SDF claims were seen by many observers as an excuse for the setbacks of the SDF operation in the last few weeks. According to pro-government sources, the accusation against the SAA was proven to be nothing more than propaganda, as the SDF was the one who attacked positions of the SAA on December 20.
In a related development, the SDF announced that its fighters repelled another attack of ISIS on their positions in the village of al-Jurdi Sharqi on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside. 30 ISIS fighters were killed and two vehicles of the terrorist group were destroyed by the SDF during the clashes in al-Jurdi Sharqi.
From its side, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq released photos of ISIS fighters trying to shot down two aircraft of the US-led coalition over Abu Hama village south of al-Jurdi Sharqi village. These photos prove that the US-led coalition is the side conducting airstrikes on civilian areas there, and not Russia and Syria as Syrian opposition sources claim on a daily basis.