On Saturday, the US-led coalition announced in an official statement that it will support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Deir Ezzor Military Council (DMC) advance towards Deir Ezzor city.
The US-led coalition said that it will provide equipment, training, intelligence and logistics support, precision fires and battlefield advice for the SDF and DMC during the operation.
The US-led coalition stressed that it will support the SDF until it fully captures the Khabur River valley. This could mean that the US is not interested in capturing other areas in Deir Ezzor governorate. Kurdish sources claimed that the aim of the attack is to reach Markada town south of al-Shaddadah town just to secure the US base near al-Sahdadah.
Meanwhile, a member of the SDF-linked Raqqa Civil Council claimed that Major General Rupert Jones, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the US-led coalition, said in a meeting that the US-led coalition will not allow the regime forces to bypass the Euphrates River.
Others even claimed that Jones threatened to strike any units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) if it crossed the Euphrates River. However, none of these claims have been confirmed by the US-led coalition so far.
In a separate development, the SDF fighters advanced in al-Mansour and al-Thkhnah districts in the centers of Raqqa city and in al-Nahdah district in the western part of Raqqa city according to Kurdish sources. The source added that SDF fighters killed 30 ISIS fighters and destroyed a vehicle of ISIS during their advance.
On Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) claimed that 15 SDF fighters were killed in clashes with ISIS fighters in Raqqa city.
Furthermore, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq announced that a number of SDF fighters were killed and injured in a VBIED attack on their positions in al-Barazi roundabout in the eastern part of Raqqa city.
Amaq also claimed that US-led coalition warplanes targeted by mistake –again- a unit of the SDF in Tal Abyad street in Raqqa city. According to Amaq 7 SDF fighters were killed in the friendly fire accident.
The SDF is now focusing its attacks on ISIS positions in the western part of Raqqa city. If the SDF captures the western part of Raqqa, ISIS will be in control of less than 20% of Raqqa city in its northern and eastern parts.
Photos released by Amaq: