On July 24, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advanced 35km deep inside the valley of Rauda in the eastern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to the Hawar News Agency (ANHA). The Kurdish news outlet said that the clashes between SDF fighters and ISIS cells lasted for 24 hours.
“During the last 24 hours we liberated 35 kilometers towards the town of al-Baghuz, and we will continue our campaign despite the harsh weather and the heat wave that is effecting the area,” Mohamad al-Abid, a fighter of the SDF, told ANHA.
ANHA said that the ongoing military operation of the SDF in the eastern Deir Ezzor countryside is coordinated with the Iraqi military. According to the source, both sides are working to secure the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Local observers believe that hundreds of ISIS fighters and commanders are hiding in the eastern Deir Ezzor countryside. The recent battles in the southern al-Hasakah countryside suggest that these elements are poorly armed and not willing to fight.
Last week, the US-led coalition confirmed that that its forces will attack the remaining strongholds of ISIS along the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, once eastern Deir Ezzor and southern al-Hasakah are secured.