On October 22, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that they took control over the Omar oil fields in eastern Deir Ezzor, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Lilwa al-Abdallah, one of the SDF spokespersons, said in a statement that the SDF “managed to liberate the fields without notable damages”.
Pro-SDF sources also claimed that the SDF established control over a large area north of the fields, including Tayyib al-Fal, al-Qusayriyah, al-Khurayzah, Shuhayl and other points.
On October 23, spokesman for the US-led coalition Army Colonel Ryan Dillon said in Twitter that the SDF caught ISIS off guard and the terrorist group had no time to destroy the infrastructure.
Meanwhile, according to Syrian sources, the SDF reached a deal with local ISIS members operating in the oil fields area and the only goal of media campaign showing the rapid SDF success was to hide this cooperation. A lack of videos and photos from the ground and no damage do the oil infrastructure contribute to this version.
On October 22, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the SDF and ISIS are working on an unprecedented deal that would allow the US-backed force to establish control over the eastern bank of the Euphrates. The negotiations, which are allegedly sponsoredby local tribes linked to ISIS, would extend the surrendered area between the villages of Khsham and Hajin.
The SOHR has a strong anti-government attitude. So, it’s hard to expect that it spreads this reports in order to support the so-called Assad propaganda campaign against the SDF.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies, backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces, advanced southeast from al-Mayadin and liberated the villages of Mahkan and Quriyah and advanced on al-Asharah. The advance took place amid intense firefights with ISIS units operating in the area.
An intense fighting between the SAA and ISIS was also reported in Saqr Island near Deir Ezzor. Pro-government sources speculate that the SAA Tiger Forces will be actively involved in the operation in the area.
However, it’s unlikely that the Syrian military will be able to develop the large-scale operation inside Deir Ezzor city and to push further towards al-Bukamal simultaneously.
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*All posts on behalf of South Front are made by Gordon Duff