BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:35 P.M.) – US-backed, Kurdish-led forces operating in the southern countryside of Deir Ezzor province have hit a virtual brick wall over the last fortnight, encountering fanatical resistance from ISIS.
Although accomplishing a number of key objectives over the last month in the region such as reaching the Iraqi border and securing the strategic town of Al-Busayrah, pro-Coalition forces are yet to complete the full clearance of ISIS from its last strongholds along the eastern shore of the Euphrates River
In particular, ISIS car bomb attacks and hit-and-run raids carried out from underground tunnels have served to bleed the ranks of US-backed militias in southern Deir Ezzor.
Despite the fact that ISIS resistance remains as stubborn as ever, Coalition warplanes have virtually ceased conducting operations over Deir Ezzor in the last week.
Furthermore, it has become apparent that the priorities of US-backed forces in southern Deir Ezzor province are somewhat confused.
On the one hand, Kurdish and Arab commanders present at the front are trying to dislodge Islamic State militants from the eastern shore of the Euphrates, whilst on the other hand, their American overseers are trying to push jihadist fighters in the area to surrender for reasons that officially remain unclear.
The end result of this is that pro-Coalition fighters, close to ISIS positions (generally within visual range) but hesitant to attack, are left exposed small, but often very effective counter-attacks by terrorist forces.