BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:55 P.M.) – The Iraqi and Syrian armed forces have completely enveloped the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) between the Deir Ezzor (Syria), Al-Anbar (Iraq), and Salaheddine (Iraq) governorates, as they prepare for their last major operation against the terrorist group.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have managed to capture most of the Deir Ezzor Governorate over the last two months, leaving ISIS with little room to retreat.
In particular, the Syrian Arab Army has liberated every major city in the Deir Ezzor Governorate, while the Deir Ezzor Military Council of the Syrian Democratic Forces have captured most of the oil fields in the province, including the Al-‘Umar refinery.
With their recent losses near Albukamal, ISIS is now mostly confined to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River Valley, where they are preparing to make their last stand in eastern Syria.
The Iraqi Army, alongside Hashd Al-Sha’abi (Popular Mobilization Units) and Federal Police, have liberated every major city and town in western Al-Anbar, forcing ISIS to seek refuge north of Al-Qa’im.
Making matters worse for ISIS, they are stuck in a wide open area that is prime for Iraqi and US airstrikes.
The Iraqi Armed Forces will make their final push from three different axes: Al-Qa’im (south), Al-Sayniyah (east), and Al-Hadhar (north).
Like the Syrian Army, the Iraqi Armed Forces should be able to complete their final operations against ISIS by the new year, as they greatly outnumber the terrorist group and possess much greater firepower.