BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:00 A.M.) – ISIS has launched a counteroffensive against the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in eastern Deir Ezzor Governorate.
The counteroffensive currently underway by ISIS was formally announced about twelve hours ago and came about 24 hours after Kurdish-led forces reached the imperative Deir Ezzor industrial zone – which some SDF sources claim was captured by the US-backed alliance – near the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.
So far ISIS claims to have deployed at least two vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED; generically referred to as car bombs) against Kurdish troops along the Deir Ezzor to Abu Kasab highway – the main axis of the SDF advance towards the Euphrates.
Even prior to the counteroffensive, ISIS has also made multiple claims that its anti-tank missile teams have been scoring direct hits on SDF vehicles transiting the aforementioned highway.
The full scope of the counteroffensive by ISIS is not clear yet, however what is known is that the terrorist group initially offered little resistance towards the SDF prior to it reaching the Deir Ezzor industrial area.
The main concentrations of ISIS forces in eastern Deir Ezzor can be found along two axes.
The first axis runs along the eastern bank of the Euphrates itself from al-Kasrah to ash-Sa’fah whilst the second axis runs along both sides of the Khabur River from al-Busawyrah to as-Suwar and even then so further upriver into southern Hasakah Governorate.