BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:20 P.M.) – Earlier reports that US-led forces operating in the province of Deir Ezzor commenced an offensive against the Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitary groups may very well be false. Furthermore, it appears that opposition media is attempting to stir tensions between pro-Damascus and US-backed forces throughout scare reporting.
On Friday, a variety of opposition media sources (some claiming to be local activists and others being general news) reported that Arab fighters of the US-led Deir Ezzor Military Council launched an artillery-backed assault the Syrian Army at the towns of Khasham and At-Tabiyyah on the east shore of the Euphrates River.
The reports were convincing – detailing that the better known US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces group was not participating and that the attack was purely the initiative of the Deir Ezzor Military Council (with whom the Syrian Army has had front-line skirmishes with before).
However despite this, official anti-ISIS coalition sources, Kurdish sources and Syrian Army sources remain – after many hours post-event – completely quiet on the matter.
This serves to now shed serious doubt on opposition claims – more so since US airstrikes reportedly took place and still no statement from official American military sources has been put forth.
Furthermore, the coordination of the reports and their detail seems to suggest that opposition media – in support of rebel groups (hostile to both US-backed forces and Syrian Army) – may be attempting to provoke conflict between pro-government and US-backed forces in the country’s east via scare reporting.
Updates to follow.