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BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:00 A.M.) – On Thursday, ISIS lost control of two key towns on the northern bank of the Euphrates River after the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued their large-scale offensive in northern Syria.

Following the capture of nearby Al-Kibar Military Base two days ago, the Kurdish-led SDF managed to impose full control over Al-Kunayz and Al-Jezrah after a 24-hour battle with Islamic State forces in northern Deir Ezzor, a local source told Al-Masdar News.

Earlier in the day, Kurdish forces also liberated the eastern Raqqa town of Al-Kayjla, and shortly after captured the nearby Menxer hill.

Recently, the progress of the Euphrates Wrath campaign has been impeded after the rival Turkish-led Euphrates Shield forces began attacking Kurdish-held villages near Manbij, thereby prompting Kurdish forces to divert SDF contingents to Aleppo province rather than combatting ISIS in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor.

Meanwhile, news emerged that the United States deployed 400 marines to aid the Kurdish forces to eventually liberate Raqqa, the Islamic State capital.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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Stern Daler
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The Turkish attacks around Manbij seriously compromise the war against IS. They tie up SAA and SDF forces and behave like allies of IS.

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Truth

I don’t know why Syria considers these YPG Forces as allies. They only want to carry out the US ahgnda for Syria,; namely split Syria and taking a large chunk, more than 1/3 to link with Iraq so that the Qatar pipeline could pass and declare it an independent US puppet state. That land was never Kurdish, not even in the 1920’s when the British first created this artificial state on the spoils of the Ottoman empire.

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abuqahwa

Agreed, this is the carve-up of Syria, northern Aleppo to the Turks, Al-Bab another Nicosia, Syria east of Euphrates to the Kurds. Interesting that SDF/YPG have reached the strategic choke-point at the great river bend mid-way Raqqa-Deir ez-Zour at al-Kibar, shown on map as AL-KIBAR MILITARY BASE. ISIS riverine and road traffic now blocked . This location was bombed by Israelis in 2007 (operation ORCHARD), abandoned by Syrian army, area seized by ISIS in 2013 and recently “raided” (i.e. recon in force) by US on 06 JAN 2017. Now designated a “military base “but for whom ? Kurds or US… Read more »

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Simon Gunson

I agree. Russia & Syria must act decisively to assert sovereignty before YPG take Raqqa or USA will create a permanent Kurdish enclave

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Stern Daler

This is a possible scenario of the pipeline wars. On the other hand the YPG Kurds have no alternative to the Syrian government. Erdogan hates their guts and fights them. The Barzani clan embargoes them. The US only use them – they are communists after all and were founded by PKK activists.