BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:39 P.M.) – Following the victory at Gharanij several days ago, US-backed forces (of which Kurdish forces are a core component) have pressed on and are now battling their way into another key Islamic State stronghold in eastern Syria.

Moments ago, opposition sources reported that US-backed anti-ISIS coalition militias had entered the fortress village of Al-Bahra in the province of Deir Ezzor amid heavy clashes with Islamic State terrorists.

Al-Bahra, tucked away on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River, has already witnessed weeks of firefights for the settlement and, just like the battle for Gharanij, has swapped hands several times already.

ISIS has very much made clear its intention to hold on to Al-Bahra, employing several car bombs (a key fire support weapon of the terrorist group) against US-backed forces to dislodge their presence from the village every time they managed to gain ground inside it.

More so than car bombs, tunnels have proven to be another major obstacle in the way of US-backed forces with Islamist State terrorists using them to mobilize for counter-attacks and flank raids.

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2018-02-01 17:08

One can only hope SDF forces will soon clear the valley from IS forces. After cleansing the area, at least part of those forces can be redeployed towards Afrin and Manbij.