On December 2, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured the villages of a-Uwaydiyah and al-Kishkiyah along the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to Kurdish sources. The SDF also advanced in the town of Suwaydan.
Meanwhile, the Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported that 72 fighters of ISIS were killed and 5 others were captured by the SDF during the clashes in Suwaydan. SDF fighters also destroyed a vehicle of ISIS and captured several weapons, according to ANHA.
In a related development, the SDF allowed several families to return to their homes in the village of Diban in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to Syrian oppositions sources. However, local sources said that the SDF opened fire on a civilian car, which was carrying a family back to Diban. A baby was killed in the accident and the parents were injured, according to the local sources.
The local sources also reported that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) closed all the crossings on the Euphrates River on December 2. The SAA likely closed the crossings to prevent any ISIS fighters from escaping the ongoing battle with the SDF to the western bank of the river where the SAA is stationed.
Syrian activists believe that it will take months before the civilians are allowed to return to their villages and towns in the Euphrates River valley. Large parts of the valley is still under the ISIS control to this day.