The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are preparing to launch a military operation against ISIS in the province of Deir Ezzor, according to media speculations and reports by pro-SDF activists.
The SDF could launch the military operation “within several weeks” aimd the ongoing fighting for the city of Raqqah, Reuters reported citing, Ahmed Abu Khawla, head of the Deir Ezzor military council. [a part of the SDF]
“The operation to liberate Deir al-Zor will begin very, very soon,” Khawla said according to Reuters. The SDF commander added that his unit has already “entered Deir al-Zor [Deir Ezzor] territory and liberated several towns.”
According to the report, there were 4,000 fighters, mostly Arabs and mostly from Deir Ezzor, in the faction that Khawla heads. However, this number looks overestimated. The US has repatedly faced significant problems during its attempts to build an Arab faction of the SDF. Despite these attempts, Kurdish militias remain a core of the group.