The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) are its allies had deployed new units to the Euphrates Valley in Deir Ezzor governorate, the Syrian pro-government blog al-Masdar News reported on February 14. The blog added that the SAA had stepped up its patrols on the western bank of the Euphrates River and begun building new fortifications there.
Some pro-government sources speculate the SAA and its allies may be planning to launch an attack against positions the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Moreover, several Syrian opposition sources said that the SAA and its allies are indeed willing to launch an attack to recapture the CONICO gas facility and even the al-Omar oil fields.
From its side, the SDF and the US-led coalition had also deployed large reinforcements to their positions on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, according to Kurdish sources.
In cause of the escalation, the US-led coalition will carry out another series of heavy airstrikes similar to the ones conducted on February 7. However, some Syrian pro-government sources believe that the SAA may use air defense systems against US-led coalition warplanes in any future military confrontation.
Syria’s Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Fayssal Mikdad warned on February 14 that Syria will down any warplane that launches an airstrike on the SAA, in a clear hint to the US-led coalition.
Although of all of this tension, observers believe that the SAA and its allies will not risk to launch an attack against the US-led coalition now, as they are preparing for a more important battle around the Syrian capital, Damascus.