DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:00 P.M.) – The Russian military have deployed its pontoon bridges and boats to Deir Ezzor city in bid to cross the Euphrates, pro-opposition sources claimed.
The sources posted photos on social media purportedly showing Russian military equipment in action near the western bank of the Euphrates.
If such claims proved true and the Syrian troops crossed to the eastern bank of the river, this might foreshadow a potential standoff with the US-backed Kurdish militiamen who try to set a foothold in the oil-rich province.
For months, the Kurds have been trying to capture the ISIS de-facto capital of Raqqa. Clashes are now ongoing inside the city with ISIS showing fierce resistance.
In a related context, the United States have re-deployed its proxies to the town of al-Shaddadi in southern al-Hasakah governorate in order to begin – along with the Syrian Democratic Forces – a new offensive against ISIS in Deir Ezzor.