DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:15 A.M.) – On Friday evening, the predominately Kurdish ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) pushed west of their vulnerable Deir Ezzor salient and seized a couple highly important sites from the Islamic State.
According to multiple fairly credible reports, the SDF managed to impose full control over the Al-Bazikh mountain chain and the neighbouring Derro oil field, located some 30 kilometers directly north of Deir Ezzor.
In the next phase of the ongoing ‘Al-Jazirah Storm’ offensive, US-backed Kurdish troops hope to reach and overrun a dozen ISIS-held towns and villages on the eastern side of the Euphrates River in Deir Ezzor’s northern countryside.
Across the river, mechanized elements of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) are securing rapid gains of their own and imposed full control villages over Kusubi, Al-Bassah and Hammat Shamiyah earlier in the day, thereby bringing them within a few kilometers of the previously impregnable Islamic State stronghold Ma’adan.
In the coming days, the SAA hopes to liberate the last stretch of ISIS territory in neighbouring Raqqa province while Kurdish forces will try to expel ISIS entirely from northern Deir Ezzor.
An interactive battle map of the region can be found here through an Al-Masdar News partner website.