BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 A.M.) – The Islamic State (ISIS) had a difficult start to the year and it appears things are not looking any better for 2018, as the terrorist group is being wedged from all sides in eastern Syria and western Iraq.
With the start of the Iraqi offensive to clear southwest Al-Anbar, the Islamic State has been forced to redeploy several units from the Deir Ezzor Governorate to the border-city of Al-Qa’im in anticipation for the major battle that is set begin there.
This Iraqi offensive has paved the way for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to make a push along the Deir Ezzor-Albukamal Road, which leads to the Iraqi city of Al-Qa’im.
On Monday night, the Syrian Army and Hezbollah were able to do just that, liberating at least 7km of territory east of the T-2 Pumping Station that is located 65km away from the city of Albukamal.
While the Albukamal offensive is not fully underway, it should begin in the coming days as the elite Tiger Forces redeploy from the provincial capital to the T-2 Pumping Station.
Meanwhile on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have made their own gains in the Deir Ezzor Governorate.
The SDF has reached the western outskirts of Markadah, which is an Islamic State stronghold in the Euphrates River Valley.
Once Markadah is captured, the SDF will likely shift their attention to Albukamal in effort to seize this important border-crossing before the Syrian Army.