Syrian War Report – December 22, 2017: Tensions Between Syrian Army And SDF Grow In Deir Ezzor Province

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The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has shelled several positions of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the town of al-Busayrah on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in southern Deir Ezzor, the Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported on December 21. Other pro-Kurdish sources claimed that the SAA is coordinating its alleged attacks on the SDF with ISIS.

In turn, pro-government sources accused the SDF of attacking the SAA in the village of Khasham on December 20 and 21. The SDF’s Deir Ezzor Military Council allegedly lost 20 members in these attacks.

While local sources cannot confirm any notable skirmishes between the sides, the recent competing accusations are an indication of the deterioration of relations between the Damascus government and the SDF. This became especially noticeable after Washington had assured the SDF leadership that US forces will not withdraw from Syria despite the collapse of ISIS’ self-proclaimed Caliphate.

The Syrian military is deploying reinforcements to northern Hama and the area of Khanasir ahead of the widely-expected large-scale operation against Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in the province of Idlib, according to pro-government sources.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted between the SAA and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) south of the HTS-held village of Mushayrifat in northeastern Hama. However, pro-government forces were not able to overrun the HTS defense there.

On December 18, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander revealed to the Syrian opposition news outlet Enab Baladi that the US had fully suspended its support for all FSA groups in northern and southern Syria. FSA groups were allegedly informed of the US decision during a joint meeting.

According to the Enab Baladi report, the US even closed its infamous Military Operation Center (MOC) in Jordan. The MOC is known for providing financial, military and intelligence support for the FSA and radical Islamist groups in southern Syria. The US also shut down another Military Operation Center in Turkey, named by Turks “MOM”, according to the FSA commander. The MOM provided support to militant groups in northern Syria.

If the report is confirmed, this will indicate that Washington is going to focus further on supporting the SDF and its separatist intensions in northeastern Syria.

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  • World_Eye

    who the F**k this SDF think they are, are they thing that the US Jets will fly over SAA and will bomb it. LOL this Arming and arming of this kurds for what, there is no other explanation over just one, to fight with SAA, as new Daesh. Cuz with their american friends they can get the courage and go against SAA, but they can never go against Turkey tho.

    • Joe

      …and the SDF thinks that the Russians are their friends and would not stop US planes from attacking SAA and friends.

      Wait until Iranian forces , SAA , Hez and even Trukey start moving… they will just give up for sure.

      But then they will settle in Sochi… Separatist intends? keep dreaming. Will never happen.
      Even forces as weak as Houthis will attack not to say the stronger SAA with friends

      Assad must talk to Russian… common with us or not.
      Russians in …. all taken care off.

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    • Rob

      Trump must ask from Assad that can I keep my army there in your country Syria.

      Trump should not meddle in Syria or to intrude into other people’s affairs or business.

    • Jonathan Cohen

      EXCELLENT! ALL US support for ABORTION RIGHTS in Syria and NONE to abortion banning FSA! ABORTION RIGHTS IN KHASHAM!!!!

  • Bolter10

    So USA has divided Syria between SDF & SFA neither being defeated. hhmmm,,the war continues.

    • Joe

      It will be decided in Sochi ..
      Kurds ate really in precarious positions.

      Will they again misjudge as in Iraq and be driven out ?

  • Freespirit

    Did PUTIN see this coming and is why he is reducing Russian presence in Syria, and thus the Middle East: http://russia-insider.com/en/israel-saudi-arabia-and-us-are-about-invade-syria-brace-impact/ri22012

    WAR by DECEPTION, as I have stated numerous times, includes ATTTRITION –
    Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are to be EXHAUSTED by endless battles. As I also
    stated so many times,The House of Rothschild has virtually unilimited money to
    hire unlimited numbers of Mercenaries, until ZIONISM wins…………..OR, loses.

    The SOLUTION is so simple but all are afraid to admit to it, Much less try –
    ELIMINATE Israel and within 6 months, PROBLEM solved!

    There is more than one way to “Eliminate” Israel, however……….

    It seems most will choose SLAVERY and Genocide by the Ashkenazi ZIONISTS, our of COWARDICE and thus without a fight.

    ISRAEL’S cultural MARXISM agenda on the WORLD as
    stated by MORRIS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM4GdbZAQ-k

    • Jeff Lewin

      One irony of the present status-quo is that, as of c. 2009 Kurds only made up 6% of the Syrian population, and they now occupy numerous communities and vast territories in which they are a minority.

      The Kurdish YPG is surrounding two important pro-Government eastern Syrian cities, which is tactically advantageous for themselves.

      As for Russia, they have had positive relations with Turkish Kurds for decades. They have shown relatively little interest in the Kurds’ tensions with the Syrian Government. Russian forces are actually on the ground in the Kurdish zone, protecting Kurdish communities that border the front-lines of invading Turkish forces in Syria.

      I would think that Syria would be a higher priority for the Kremlin than the Kurds, considering the Kurds’ alliance with the Zionists & the US-led Coalition. Their diplomacy with the Kurds does not guarantee them any advantages, but Russia may have further considerations.

      The Coalition aviation has maintained a numerical advantage over the combined Syrian+Russian air forces in this theater, throughout this conflict. If Syria wants to advance its forces eastward into the Kurdish zone, it would need to counter the Coalition aviation, but it does not have the means to do so by itself.

      Russia is the only ally who could help Syria counter the Coalition aviation, however, the Russians have mostly kept their Syrian operation rather modest, with around 50 tactical aircraft, plus a brief deployment of about 67 carrier-based fighters.

      Hopefully, negotiations over the destiny of eastern Syria will prove advantageous for the joint-resistance.

      For my part, I would think that a greater deployment of Russian aircraft would be advantageous in said negotiations, but that would be a matter for Russia’s leaders to consider.

      • Joe

        Agree with you on the Russians. Russia has interests in oil fields in kurd’s areas.

        Russia currently is the mediator to all so it is too early to tell if Russia will cover the SAA in confronting SDF/Kurds.

        Basically, Russia will never support Kurds allowing US to be based in Syria for certainty and they have obligations to Syria for the bases and Syrian’s sacrifices over the pipeline..

        In the end my take is that there is no way SAA forces will allow US bases or a Kurdish independent area just because Assad allowed them to fight ISIS and capture to keep territories.

        In Sochi this will be decided without US.

        • gustavo

          In Sochi this will be decided WITH USA since kurds will be there, and they are just USA puppets.

          • Joe

            No the Kurds would be represented by Kurds not affiliated with YPG and this means US has no role in Sochi whatever.

            It is understood they deliberately excluded US as US is an illegal entity in Syria and neither will give any legitimacy by inviting them in Sochi.

            US would use that excuse to remain and this message is very clear to US that US has no part in Syrian settlement.

            Once settlement has been achieved, the three countries will make sure it is implemented . US then want to take on these three countries?
            I don’t think so

      • Jens Holm

        Again the brainwashed incl. delay. First kurds are/were 10%. Next the possesion has expanded having an arabic majority.

    • Jeff Lewin

      Putin wants to lead by example and practice what he preaches. His removal of some forces from Syria is Russia’s way of telling the world that the time has come to de-escalate this conflict.

      Hopefully, this policy will accomplish it’s intended objective.

      • Freespirit

        I don’t agree but thanks for you input

    • Jens Holm

      Do it Yourself.

      • Freespirit

        I have been, since the late 1960’s in North America and earlier in the Republic of Ireland!

        I am in my 78th year

        What were you doing while I was fighting?

        I’ll bet you weren’t even born :-)

  • dutchnational

    A nonsense report. Nothing new.

    Everybody knows that Iran is pushing SAA towards a confrontation with the SDF. As the US knows this too, and US fully opposes Iran as far as Syria is concerned, US will support SDF against SAA attacks. As Russia knows this too, imo Russia will not back Assad attacking SDF and as Iran has no airforces in Syria, this will mean SAA will not attack SDF, except maybe for some unimportant skirmishes.

    • northerntruthseeker .

      You still here, Hasbara/JIDF agent? And again, you are spewing your laughable nonsense here…

      Get lost, you Israeli agent.. You have been exposed…

      • dutchnational

        If you cannot handle the truth, your problem. You can call me by any name you want, it just makes me laugh and exposes you as an ignoramus twit.

        • northerntruthseeker .

          Is this the best you can do, Hasbara agent? I hope others see what you are, and the webmaster of this site banishes you and your sickness…

    • §âm

      The only way to settle this is by diplomatic means, if not….well USA has succeeded in weakning and destroying syria even more.
      I agree with you no major escalation will ever occur imo at least in the near future

  • dutchnational

    The report, whether to be believed or not, indicates, as do other sources, both the growing desparation of Assad and the frustation of Iran in regards to the SDF.

    The US is taking this seriously and will be greatly increasing its armsdeliveries to the SDF/YPG in 2018, completely in line with earlier statements. Largely dimishing offensive armrs deliveries and replacing them by largely defensive arms like ATG’s and missiles.

    Give the nature of the described arms, it is clear they expect, or maybe rather prepare, the SDF for being assaulted by armoured military units. In mind come SAA, Iranian proxies and Turkey. Likely, though not stated, there will be anti aircraft guns and or missiles around the US bases in Northern Syria, to prevent them being attacked. Those same systems will likely defend the region in general – if attacked.

    The US is also going to supply the basic equipment for the enlargement of SDF forces, the US suppliyng gear (incl AK47 etc) for some 20 to 25k.

    At least there is some consistency in US policies towards Northern Syria. Maybe the US did learn something from the debacle of the KRG after all.

  • Hide Behind

    From a tactical standpoint the resistance to Turkey by Y P G, ; they are rushing reinforcements to areas, will in all likelihood be a crushing blow to that sect of Kurds, leaving US to concentrate on building their favored Kurds, those already installed in the 5 cities of Kurdistan Republic.
    US will undoubtedly supply the SDF forces facing Turkey, with lots of ammo inclufing latest anti armor missiles.
    Be interesting to see how Turkey’s Leopard
    tanks take such weapon fire.
    New Bill signed by Trump, executive order, for all of US diplomatic people to push sales of more US built weaponry, and this new phase of combat will give a nice place to test and

    evaluate new equipment.
    Turkey has huge #s of tanks and large #s of aircraft they can throw into grey, and not having any aggressors upon their lands they can use them all.