Following a success of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces against ISIS in eastern Aleppo, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have increased their activity on the southern bank of Euphrates.
The SDF, backed up by the US-led coalition’s airpower and military advisers, relaunched operations against ISIS in the area at the same time when the SAA reached the ISIS-held town of Maskanah, the last terrorist group’s stronghold in the province of Aleppo.
The SDF has captured the villages Bir Akhu Hadlah, Bir al-David and Bir Hajj al-Mufazi advancing towards the Resafa Crossroads at the Salamiyah-Raqqah highway. Thus, the SDF is aiming to take control of the highway that links up the SAA-held city of Salamiyah with Raqqah.
The SDF has also advanced west of Tabqah, capturing the village of al-Mushayrifah. According to some pro-government sources, the SDF may attempt to block the Tiger Forces moving along the N4 highway from reaching the province of Raqqah.
Meanwhile, the SDF has advanced on the Baath Dam and even captured it according to unconfirmed reports from pro-Kurdish sources. Pro-SDF media activists have also argued that the SDF has seized the villages of Hawra, al-Barouda and al-Matiyura south of the Baath Dam. However, these advances still have to be confirmed with videos or photos.
Pro-government sources have also speculated that ISIS terrorists maintain much bigger resistance to the SAA advancing in Aleppo province than to the SDF advancing near the so-called ISIS capital of Raqqah. While this looks as a kind of embellishment, the reailty on the ground creates at least some preconditions for such conclusions.
Summing up the recent dvelopments in the provinces of Raqqah and Aleppo, it becomes clear that the US-led coalition and its “local allies” have shifted their focus of efforts against the Syrian military following a failure at the Syrian-Iraqi border where government forces successfully prevented the expansion of US-led forces.
If this is confirmed, US-led forces will attempt to complicate the government operation against ISIS and may even advance in the direction of Deir Ezzor, aiming to seize the nearby oil and gas fields.