DAMASCUS, SYRIA (1:20 P.M.) – Barely three weeks after launching their large-scale offensive dubbed ‘Al-Jazirah Storm’, the US-backed ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) have expelled ISIS from most of the oil-rich desert in northern Deir Ezzor.
Over the past 24 hours alone, the predominately Kurdish SDF have captured the villages of Jabal Muayzilah, Al-Lajah, Al-Ali, Al-Falu Kibar and Kubar, all located on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River some 40 kilometers north of Deir Ezzor city.
Islamic State insurgents are said to have largely abandoned northern Deir Ezzor after the SDF imposed full control over the nearby Al-Bazikh mountain this weekend, thereby rendering the aforementioned ISIS-held villages indefensible.
Meanwhile, two linked SDF pincers are slowly, but steadily gaining ground both south and east of the M7-Highway despite being targeted by repeated ISIS counter-attacks.
Since the beginning of September, both the SDF and Syrian Arab Army (SAA) have raced to land-grab as much ISIS-held territory as possible in Deir Ezzor province after jihadist forces proved unable to hold their frontlines in eastern Syria due to a lack of manpower.
An interactive map depicting the advances in mention can be found here.