The United States and Russia continue their race to establish control of IS territory in Deir Ezzor with respect to their allies goals and intentions on the ground. US-backed SDF forces took control of several villages east of the Euphrates River as Russian backed forces broke the siege on Deir Ezzor and its airport. In an Interview with Deir Ezzor 24 Commander of the Military council of Deir Ezzor Ahmed Abu Khawla said, “SDF forces conrtine to progress towards Conoco oil fields east of Deir Ezzor.
We are nearly 4 km away and have established control of Naria oil fields.
” Abu Khawla said the aim of the SDF was to control the town of Suwar in the northern suburbs of Deir Ezzor, where SDF forces were able to take control of areas of the industrial city, 113th brigade, and residential areas north of the city. According to Abu Khawla the town of Suwar served as starting point for two pushes by SDF forces pushing some 15 km from the town’s roundabout and another which led 25 km to the Abu Khashab road where SDF was able to take control of several villages.
He reiterated that the object of the SDF was to completely control the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor and to reach the town of Al-Bukamal. Abu Khawla said that despite warnings from the SDF that Assad forces were able to cross the Euphrates River and reach strategic villages in the eastern countryside. He added that there seems to be some kind of agreement between the US and Russia. He said that the SDF’s goal was to liberate Deir Ezzor from Islamic State control and that Assad forces only goal was control of oil fields. He cautioned Assad from trying to stop their progress in the region. SDF forces announced the launch of military operations on December 9th, calling it “Jazira Storm”.
Their stated goal was to expel Islamic State forces and take control of the Eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.