DAMASCUS, SYRIA (2:30 P.M.) – On Wednesday, the US-backed ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) overran three ISIS-held villages on the M7-highway that runs from the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor to the Khabur river further east.
Some 12 kilometers of road were captured in the latest stage of the ongoing ‘Al-Jazirah Storm’ offensive, an SDF operation that began on September 9. In the process, Kurdish troops took control of Bir Khunayzir, Bir Masqarat Qalsh and Bir Al-Hukumah.
Brand new footage from the offensive:
Effectively, the Kurdish-led SDF appears to have turned its military focus from Deir Ezzor city to its eastern oil-rich countryside, likely due to reports of a weak ISIS defensive line in the region.
Meanwhile, dozens of US-manufactured lorries, bulldozers and armored vehicles (including Humvees) arrived in Qamishli city on Tuesday. These vehicles are expected to join operation Al-Jazirah Storm in the coming days:
Over 1,000 refugees are said to have escaped ISIS-controlled areas of Deir Ezzor province since the Kurdish-led offensive began. US advisors and warplanes are notably heavily involved in aiding every step of the offensive.
An updated interactive map of the region can be found here.