A Kurdish convoy described as nearly “10 kilometers long” entered the Hasakah governorate on Monday amid a massive build-up for an upcoming Kurdish-led offensive towards Deir Ezzor city, possibly phase 4 of the Euphrates Wrath campaign.
The army reportedly consisted of a mixture of Peshmerga and YPG fighters that had finished operations across the border where the Iraqi Army has won the upper hand.
However, Wladimir van Wilgenburg, a journalist based in Erbil, denied their forces had crossed into Syria.
Nevertheless, hundreds of Kurdish tanks, armored vehicles, technicals and BMP’s travelled through the Al-Malkiyah border crossing, eventually linking up with SDF militants at the main highway in Hasakah earlier today.
According to information obtained by Al-Masdar News reporter Yusha Yuseef, these combined Kurdish forces will join an overwhelming US-backed offensive through the oil-rich desert north of Deir Ezzor.
Should this upcoming offensive go to plan, the predominately Kurdish SDF would lift a three-year long siege imposed by ISIS on the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor where entrenched Syrian government troops have struggled to turn the tides in recent months.
Meanwhile, one report suggested that Kurdish forces had captured Al-Kubar on Sunday; this ISIS-held town is anchored at the Euphrates River in northern Deir Ezzor. The advance could not be independently verified by Al-Masdar News’ military sources.
Elsewhere, south of Manbij, the SDF captured 9 villages from ISIS in rural Aleppo earlier today, coming within striking distance of the Al-Khafsa water pumping station.