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The US-led coalition and US-backed forces are on full alert over the collapse of ISIS in the Syrian province of Aleppo and the success of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) against the terrorist group at the Iraqi border with Syria.
The Kurdish Security Police of the Asayish held a meeting on Monday in Qamishli city to discuss the formation of a defence system ‘to confront the Iranian project’ that is allegedly supported by by the Syrian government. In other words, the Asayish is concerned that a part of the Syrian-Iraqi border was liberated from ISIS by the PMU.
The Asayish is a 15,000-strong force controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). At the same time, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) that are the core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are military wings of the PYD. Thus, the Asayish statement could be considered as an official position of the PYD and the SDF.
Furthermore, the Asayish was involved in heavy clashes against the National Defense Forces and the Syrian Army in the city of Hasakah in August 2016. The Asayish was supported by the YPG and the US-led coalition.
The US-backed force has also increased its activity on the southern bank of Euphrates capturing the villages al-Mushayrifah, Bir Akhu Hadlah, Bir al-David and Bir Hajj al-Mufazi near Tabqah as well as the Baath Dam and the villages of Hawra, al-Barouda and al-Matiyura south of it. According to some experts, the SDF is aiming to reach the Resafa Crossroads in order to cut off the Salamiyah-Raqqah highway that links up the SAA-held city of Salamiyah with Raqqah, and to expand its presence near the N4 Highway in order to prevent the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces from reaching the province of Raqqah.
The SDF advance followed a collapse of the ISIS defenses in the countryside of Maskanah and a failure of US-backed militant groups to counter government forces in southeastern Syria along the borders with Jordan and Iraq.
Thus, the US-led coalition may even decide to develop the SDF advance in the direction of Deir Ezzor in order to capture Deir Ezzor oil and gas fields on pretext of the battle against ISIS. However, this will be possible only if ISIS units deployed in Raqqah continue keep a defense attitude and avoid counter-attacking advancing SDF units.