Syrian government forces have faced fierce ISIS counter-attacks from an area controlled by the US Special Operations Forces and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, north of Deir Ezzor city, spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry, Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.
“The closer the end of the ISIS in Syria, the more clear it is who is really fighting with the ISIS and who has been imitating this fight for three years. So, if the US-led international coalition does not want to fight against terrorism in Syria, let it just be out of the way of those who are doing it continuously and effectively,” Konashenkov told media.
The Russian general said that over the past day, Syrian government forces crossed the Euphrates River and expanded “the seized bridgehead” east of Deir Ezzor city.
He added that despite a tough resistance of ISIS members, government forces have liberated 60km2 on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. The most serve ISIS counter-attacks and shelling have been conducted from the northern direction where the SDF and the US-led coalition operate.
“According to Syrian commanders’ reports from the front line, the Syrian Army encounters the most severe counterattacks and fire from the northern direction. That is, where SDF forces and US special operations units are located, who are allegedly administering medical aid to these militants instead of liberating Raqqa. You don’t have to possess profound military knowledge to see consistency in all these ‘coincidences’,” the spokesperson said.
Konashenkov added that water discharges from the Euphrates dams controlled by the US-backed forces hamper the government advance north of Deir Ezzor.
“Thus, the water situation on the Euphrates has deteriorated dramatically in the past 24 hours. As soon as the Syrian government troops began to cross the river, water level in the Euphrates rose within hours and the current velocity nearly doubled to two meters per second,” he said. “Since there have been no rains, the only source of such changes in the water situation is man-induced water discharge at dams upstream the Euphrates. These facilities are held by opposition groups controlled by the US-led coalition.“