BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:20 A.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army has surrendered a key town on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River in the province of Deir Ezzor to US-backed forces according to opposition sources.
Yesterday, opposition sources reported that the Syrian Army and allied paramilitaries had ceded the town of Al-Khasham in Deir Ezzor province to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
The exchange is said to have taken place on Sunday.
Although reported by unofficial opposition sources, similar information was also disseminated by pro-government sources who – claiming to quote local activists – said that pro-Coalition fighters were mobilizing to enter Al-Khasham in preparation for the Syrian Army and allied forces to withdraw from it.
If the reports are in fact true then the Syrian Army’s hand-over of Al-Khasham to US-backed forces is likely part of a greater demarcation agreement between the two factions in eastern Syria.
Historically, the exchange of settlements between the Syrian Army and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces is not uncommon with such deals having been witnessed in the provinces of Aleppo and Raqqa whereby the latter faction ceded towns and villages to the former.