DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:05 A.M.) – The US-backed ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ have virtually met up with the Russian-backed Syrian Arab Army (SAA) after scoring a large advance, Thursday, through the oil-rich desert directly east of Deir Ezzor’s provincial capital.
After ISIS insurgents reportedly withdrew from the area without a fight, SDF units managed to dash southwards of their positions on the M7-highway and capture the Tabiyeh and Al-Isba oil and gas fields in a remarkable coup.
This advance brings Kurdish fighters within a couple kilometers of SAA troops that are simultaneously expanding their beachhead east of the Euphrates River.
Earlier in the day, a separate eastern SDF pincer towards the Khabur River saw SDF forward units overrun three villages and come within striking distance of Al-Suwar, a key junction town and ISIS stronghold near the border with Iraq.
According to a SAA source close to Al-Masdar News, Major General Suheil Al-Hassan had otherwise hoped to capture the aforementioned fields but was obstructed by a powerful ISIS counter-offensive on Tuesday.