The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Hezbollah and their allies are advancing against ISIS in the area of Jaffrah located on the western bank of the Euphrates River near Deir Ezzor Airport.
Jaffrah is one of the key remaining ISIS strong points near Deir Ezzor Airport. If government troops are able to fully secure it, they will further tighten siege on ISIS units inside the northern part of Deir Ezzor city and to set a foothold for a possible operation to corss the Euphrates River.
It looks that ISIS commanders understand this. This is why the terrorist group strongly opposes to the SAA advance in the area.
Map shows a possible SAA operation aimed at crossig the Euphrates River:
Despite some reports that the SAA is not going to cross the Euphrates River. It’s unlikely that the idea is abandoned by the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance. The full liberation of Deir Ezzor city will take a notable time that will be used by ISIS in order to strenthen their positions in al-Bukamal and in the nearby areas. Furthermore, the US-led coalition will likely use this to take control of important sites on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, including the Omar oil fields.
This is why government forces continue preparations for a possible river crossing operation. There is also a chance that SAA units, backed up by the Russian military, will conduct an air landing operation behind ISIS lines. A similar operation it was already done near El-Kder in August and resulted in a significant success against ISIS in the provinces of Homs and Raqqah.
Photos allegedly show preparations of government forces to corss the Euphrates River near Jaffrah. Some sources say that they are already on the eastern bank, but this has to be confirmed: