Associated Press report on the recent events in Deir Ezzour.
For the US the endgame is clear: to prevent re-emergence of ISIS in Syria. What is murky, however, is the “shadowy attacker” in the Deir Ezzour area that apparently neither Russia nor the Assad regime has control over.
The US killed 100 of this allegedly unkown force 2 days ago as they approached the gas field controlled by its local allies, namely the SDF. Russia and the regime condemned the bombing but not so much as to suggest that the attackers were Syrian soldiers advised and assisted by Russian special forces.
Hassan Hassan suggested that the attackers were local Arab tribesmen unhappy about the SDF’s control of the area. They could also be ex-ISIS jihadis who were turned and re-armed by the Syrian government.
There are also fresh sporadic reports that US and SDF have launched a counterattack on this shadowy group in a strip of regime-controlled territory in the east of the Euphrates river in Deir Ezzour. The pontoon bridge built by Russia last year has been destroyed, presumably by the Americans, to prevent reinforcements from reaching to the east bank.
It seems US and SDF want all regime-backed forces to go back to the west of the Euphrates river, which is the demarcation line between the US and Russia-backed forces.