Syrian Democratic Forces Struggle To Clear Eastern Bank Of Euphrates From ISIS (Map)

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Syrian Democratic Forces Struggle To Clear Eastern Bank Of Euphrates From ISIS (Map)

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On December 7, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) revealed that clashes with ISIS are still ongoing in the village of Suwaydan on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River. 35 fighters of ISIS were killed during the clashes, according to the SDF.

Previously, Kurdish sources claimed that the SDF secured most of the eastern bank of the river including the town of Khara’ij 10km south of Suwaydan. However, it appears that these report were false, and that at least a half of the eastern bank of the Euphrates is still under the ISIS control.

Former spokesman for the SDF Tala Silo said before during an interview with the Turkish Anadolu Agency that the SDF was pressured to start its attack in Deir Ezzor governorate by the US although that it was not ready. Silo added that SDF suffered from major setbacks and heavy losses during its attack in Deir Ezzor and described the whole attack as a “failure”.

If the SDF didn’t push ISIS out of the Euphrates Valley before the Iraqi Army secure the al-Jazeera region in western Iraq, ISIS fighters might turn the Euphrates Valley into their last stronghold in Syria and conduct counter-attacks from it against the SDF mainly.

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  • Barba_Papa

    Silo’s comments confirm what I already thought, it really was the SAA’s rapid push that saw the YPG suddenly rush towards Deir Ezzor. They could have done that for years and didn’t. It was also why they struck that deal with ISIS to let them leave Raqqa. They were desperate to redeploy their troops to Deir Ezzor province so they signed a deal with the devil.

    • Attrition47

      Perhaps the Syrians will take the opportunity to create a bridgehead on the east bank….

      • Justin

        Indeed they could but I’m sure it would be met by the full force of isis with the help of the US intel and EW jammers etc!
        Let the SDF fight isis, SAA can clean up Idlib!
        The less SDF the better! Because proxy war 2 will surely begin soon!

    • Justin

      and that deal was done very quickly due to the SAA’s rapid advance from Suckna to DeZ!

  • Vitex

    Play-fighting. I don’t believe any map that makes a separation between ISIS and YPG. At best it’s “enemy’s enemy is my friend” at worst it’s badge-engineering – i.e. ISIS suddenly converting to YPG. What’s in a beard?

  • dutchnational

    Describing the taking of eastern DeZ countryside, the oilfields, the agricultural and industrial complexes as a failure, that is beyond stupid.

    That SDF did not take on DeZ earlier is in a way logical. Firstly, neither did SAA. They had an idle garrison in Hassakah.

    Secondly, SDF had to clear Raqqah first and lacked, thirdly, certainly until september, both military and materiel to be able to conduct two main offensive operations at the same time.

    All in all SDF has done well and is now slowly rounding off its operations while consolidating its hold on the south, digging in and, quite likely, building up reserves for possible confrontations with Turkey and Syria and to be able to take on Idlib in coordination with Russia and maybe even SAA.

    • Josh

      Your assessment of the SDF’s position strikes me as FAR too rosy.

      1. While they currently occupy a fair number of oil fields, actually getting that oil to market will prove very difficult, since they’re surrounded by the SAA and Turkey. Even their border with Iraq’s Kurdistan region has now been bascially cut off, and even if it weren’t that oil would still have to pass through Iraqi, Turkish, or Iranian terroritory, all of whom oppose Kurdish independence.

      2. Their strategic situation is precarious, due to the same factors described above. US presence gives some protection for now, but realistically the US isn’t gonna stay and babysit them forever, especially with Turkish pressure and the ISIS pretext gone.

      3. As far as Idlib goes, Turkey has already blocked them off there, and that segment of SDF territory is weaker and more isolated anyway. I don’t see Russia helping the Kurds push through Turkish troops.

      4. Much of the area now occupied by the SDF forces has an overwhelmingly non-Kurdish population. This will inevitably lead to intense guerilla warfare against Kurdish rule, even if the SAA avoids a direct confrontation with the US-backed SDF forces for now.

  • Ray Douglas

    The SDF (sic) brought the wrong size uniforms for ISIS so they can’t switch sides until the new uniforms arrive.