On May 16 morning, unidentified gunmen attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on the western bank of the Euphrates River from the river’s eastern bank controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
“Unidentified gunmen opened fire and launched several rocket-propelled grenades, of the RPG type, on regime positions on the Euphrates bank, in the town of Boqruss,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said in a report.
According to the London-based monitoring group, the gunmen opened fire from the town of al-Shheell in southeastern Deir Ezzor. No losses were reported as a result of the attack.
The SOHR revealed that a smuggling route linking government- and SDF-held areas runs in Boqruss. This suggests that the attack was carried out by smugglers.
Another possibility is that the attack was carried out by ISIS. The terrorist group’s cells are known to be highly active in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside, including al-Shheell.
The attack on SAA positions in Boqruss is a very unusual development. Both government forces and the SDF keep a tight grip of their positions in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.