In an interview with D24, the leader of the FSA faction Jaysh Assud Al-Sharqiyah confirmed that there are ongoing heavy clashes between FSA and Assad’s forces, being supported by the sectarian militias and Russian aircraft, on the front lines in the Syrian Badiya.
He stated that Assad’s forces have taken more than 300 casualties and more than 60 of their armored vehicles have been destroyed in 45 days of heavy fighting, adding that they also succeeded in shooting down a number of aircraft and helicopters and capturing dozens of soldiers.
When asked about who is providing them with ammunition and weapons, he said that ‘ We are receiving arms and ammo from Al-Muk Operation Room in Jordan.
D24: Is military support still being given to you, despite the ending of CIA program to arms the Syrian opposition by Trump?
Talass: Yes, we are still receiving support and we have not noticed any changes, though the CIA program has been suspended.
D24: There are extreme concerns about a possible intervention by Iraqi Hashd Shaabi militias in Deir Ezzor or advances by Assad’s forces towards it.
Talass: We have already said it ‘The Land is Ours’ and it will be shown in actions, not just words.
D24: But, you are still fighting in the Syrian Badiya.
Talass: We are fighting for Deir Ezzor from Al-Badiyah. If we were not based in the Badiyah, Assad’s forces would have advanced to Deir Ezzor. We are the only force hindering their advances.
D24: The SDF have begun the handing over of some villages in rural Al-Raqqa to the Assad regime. Would this have any impacts on your operations? And what is your opinion on what is going on in Al-Raqqa?
Talass: the SDF and Assad’s forces are two faces of the same coin. The advances of the SDF in Al-Raqqa do not impact our operations in the south.
D24: Who is going to capture the province of Deir Ezzor?
Talass: Deir Ezzor will be liberated by its sons. We are locals from the province, we are Jaysh Assud Al-Sharqiyah.
Assud Al-Sharqiyah is one of the most significant factions in Syria who has been fighting against both Daesh and the Assad regime for years now.