DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:15 P.M.) – Following the capture of six villages in eastern Deir Ezzor on Saturday, the ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) rushed reinforcements to the southeastern countryside of the province, engaging heavily outnumbered ISIS militants.
On Sunday morning, the US-backed SDF seized the Shudayha, Younes, Shaitat, and Sarhit oil fields from the Islamic State. Other reports suggest the oil fields were simply handed over to the SDF by ISIS members whom wished to defect instead of facing certain death.
Regardless, the latest advances put the SDF within 40 kilometers of Abu Kamal, the last major ISIS stronghold in Syria, but also within striking distance of reaching the Euphrates River from a new axis.
In effect, the race to reach Abu Kamal has begun as Russia and the United States are backing opposing sides to seize the last stretch of Islamic State territory.
An interactive map showing the most recent military situation can be found here.