On Friday, Kurdish sources claimed that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began advancing south of al-Shaddadah town in the southern Haskha countryside towards Deir Ezzor city.
According to the sources, the SDF captured the Hujayf Az-Zarrab area and the al-Jehev hill 25km north of Deir Ezzor city.
The SDF and the SDF-led Deir Ezzor Military Council (DMC) didn’t confirm any of this claims.
However, the Kurdish-Syrian Hawar News Agency reported that the SDF will make an important announcement in Abu Fas village south of al-Shaddadah town on Saturday morning.
The SDF will likely announce the beginning of its advance towards Deir Ezzor
Advancing towards Deir Ezzor, the SDF pursues political and economic goals. Deir Ezzor province is not a Kurdish area, and very few SDF fighter are from Deir Ezzor.
According to pro-government sources, the SDF real goals are to block the SAA advance towards the border with Iraq, and to capture the strategic Omar oil field.
When US Army colonel Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the US-led coalition in Syria, was asked on Twitter about the US-led coalition plans for Dier Ezzor, he replayed:
“SDF, our battle-tested and proven partners, with tribes from DaZ province are prepared to seize their villages and towns from ISIS.”
— OIR Spokesman (@OIRSpox) 8 September 2017
If the SDF operation towards Deir Ezzor is confirmed, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies will have a limited time to cross the Euphrates before SDF reach the eastern bank of the river.