On Friday, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies captured Halbiy, Zalbiya and Qasabi villages in the northwestern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to the Hezbollah media wing in Syria. Government troops also entered the nearby villages of Ma’dan ‘Atiq.
The SAA is now only 4km away from the strategic Madan town located on the administrative border between Raqqa and Deir Ezzor governorate.
The aim of the SAA military operation in the northwestern Deir Ezzor countryside is to capture the Raqqa-Deir Ezzor highway. Once the highway is captured it will be used as a safe road to Deir Ezzor city. The advance also slows down a possible redeployment of the SDF from Raqqa to Deir Ezzor province.
In a separated development, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that its fighters besieged ISIS units inside Tabiyeh and al-Isba oil fields in the northwestern Deir Ezzor countryside.
According to this official announcemen, the claims that the SDF captured the two oil fields on Thursday were likely false or the SDF was not able to secure the gains.
With the SAA in Kusham village south of Tabiyeh oil field, the both forces are in positions to raid and to capture the oil field soon.
Due to the wide advance by both the SAA and the SDF, ISIS units are now supposedly under siege in three pockets:
- Inside Deir Ezzor city;
- On the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in the northern Deir Ezzor countryside;
- On the western bakn of the Euphrates River in the northwestern Deir Ezzor countryside.