Foreign Forces Pull out of Deir ez-Zor Battle

Forces battling the last stronghold of the Islamic State in Syria have been dealt a heavy blow, which has resulted in many casualties reports Damas Post.

Groups from both the American and French occupying forces have withdrawn from areas lost over the last few days by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to the Islamic State (ISIS), according to information obtained by Damas Post. French artillery, which had been deployed north of the town of Baghour Fawqani, withdrew with groups of American occupying forces to inside the al-Omar oil field, which is one of the main illegal bases of the two parties.

Sources on the ground told Damas Post that the SDF had sent major military reinforcements to the al-Sousa—Baghour Fawqani area and denied reports that the American coalition had moved the Revolutionary Commandos Army (Jaish Maghawir al-Thowra) from al-Tanf to eastern Deir ez-Zor to join the battle, in which the SDF had lost more than 100 of its fighters, conscripted into the ranks of the “Deir ez-Zor Military Council,” led by the so-called “Ahmed Abu Khoula”, while about 50 fighters from the same militia are missing, and large amounts of military equipment and armored gear has been lost after the evacuation of their positions in the two previously-noted villages.

The American coalition has also killed 11 civilians in both al-Sousa and al-Shaafa as a result of the raids which it carried out on areas under ISIS control without any precise news about the toll from the raids which struck the town of Hajin. Sources told Damas Post that American warplanes have been carrying out flights without any strikes since the early morning. SDF artillery is still firing indiscriminately into areas under ISIS control, where more than 20,000 civilians are stuck, while ISIS is blocking people from fleeing areas under its control and the SDF is preventing displaced people from fleeing to the areas under its control.

The American special envoy for the Coalition, Brett McGurk, acknowledged the SDF’s losses of the areas in the eastern Deir ez-Zor countryside, on his Twitter account, saying, “Fighting in the MERV is tough and the SDF losses will be regained. It is very difficult because we are in the last stages, where almost every ISIS fighter is in a suicide belt. It’s very difficult fighting but we will get it done.”

Iraqi helicopters have also been dropping fliers above Syrian areas reclaimed by ISIS in recent days, including Baghour Fawqan, and the joint border with Iraq, while reinforcements described as “huge” have been sent to Hashd Shaabi positions opposite Syrian territory under ISIS control.

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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