DEIR EZ-ZOR,Syria (September 17, 2017) – Amidst the long awaited breaking of the siege of Deir ez-Zor by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, new problems and priorities arise in the shadow of what may appear to be the turning point for the military conflict against terrorism.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, commonly referred to as the SDF, are swiftly taking swaths of land south-west of Hasakah and have quickly reached the Deir ez-Zor industrial zone. This may be an attempt to cut off the Syrian Arab Army from crossing the Euphrates River and to ultimately prevent the retaking of vital oil fields just across from the city as well as reaching the Syrian-Iraqi borders in the near future. As the Islamic State (ISIS) continues to receive devastating blows, new options are available for all factions.
The Syrian Arab Army and its allies may choose to secure the outskirts of the city then take the contested city itself. The SAA is also able to cross the Euphrates and capture the ISIS-controlled oilfields, which would also block the SDF from making any significant ground developments in the future. The SDF may take a similar role in taking those oil-fields, which would result in blocking the SAA from much of Eastern Syria.The SAA may also try to reach Abu Kamal in the Deir ez-Zor axis from progression along the Syrian-Iraqi border through the T2 Pumping Station. It is very unlikely that ISIS will counterattack with significant advances against either faction.
To learn more about the SDF’s ongoing controversial developments in Deir ez-Zor province, click here.
To return to the map, click here.