Recently, militants of the Islamic state launched a counteroffensive against the positions of the Americans and the Kurdish National Self-Defense Forces that were allied to them. It ended with the first victory in a long time, the religious sectarians.
Yes, the ISIS members have long suffered some defeats and could not organize at least some worthwhile attacks on their opponents. After a series of major defeats, they lost all of their territories and most of their resources. After that, they concentrated all their forces on holding a narrow strip of the eastern coast of the Euphrates. For about a year, this piece of land remains almost the last real possession of a pseudo-caliphate in Syria. The strange thing is that during this time no one really even tried to destroy them.
Russia with the Iranians and the Syrian Arab army do not have access to the east bank, so there was no operation against them. But the Kurds, together with the United States, are in control of eastern Dair-ez-Zor, and it seems that the elimination of the last stronghold of the IS was only here for them. However, for some reason no one is in a hurry to carry out this task.
As a result, the militants, being practically safe, were able to revive the oil trading business – the area they hold is in one of the most oil-rich regions of Syria. And it allowed them to get stronger. And so much so that for some time now they have renewed attacks on government and Kurdish positions. True, they avoided serious fights, however, the damage from their actions is considerable – hundreds of captured civilians, dozens killed.
These sorties of theirs, by the way, were one of the reasons for launching the “final stage” of the “Inherent Resolve” – American antiterrorist operation. Washington resumed air strikes on the ISIS enclave, and the Kurds, as usual, carried out land missions.
At first, things seemed to be going well; the attackers even managed to take a couple of settlements away from the terrorists. Then the United States announced a big operation in Hadzhin, the temporary capital of the drained IS. And they even threw leaflets on the city, in which they called upon civilians to leave, and the militants to surrender. A promising start, but the consequences were insignificant, or rather, even negative for the United States.
The terrorists refused to sit back and wait for the Americans to come. They organized their offensive south. There were Kurds and they controlled the border with Iraq. The militant attack proved successful, and now they are back at the border. How should the USA have behaved in this situation? It seems to be necessary to take this territory back and fold the militants, but instead they chose to leave. Yes, the United States did not just leave southern Deir-ez-Zor, they are generally going to withdraw their forces from the region.
For the Kurds, these actions were disastrous. Left alone with ISIS, they suffered a crushing defeat – dozens of injured and, reportedly, almost fifty killed in just two days.
Things are going so badly that the Kurds, following the example of their patron, also decided to leave certain territories, and even those who have not yet been subjected to attacks by ISIS. Unexpected turn of events. In the near future, this will surely affect our military in Abu Kemal. This city is less than a kilometer from the new possessions of the pseudochaliphate. For all, it has both a strategic and symbolic meaning, so it’s very silly to believe that the terrorists would not dare to cross the Euphrates and attack the city. If nothing happens, then sooner or later they will descend here. Probably, Damascus will have to send additional forces or come up with something else, otherwise there may be serious problems.
Our source in the military leadership of the Russian Federation reports that the withdrawal of the Americans is due to the military activity of the Turkish army in Aleppo. Turkey has already begun to bombard Manbij and its surroundings. The Americans believe that these actions are dangerous not only for their Kurdish allies, but also for the American military, in addition there are certain risks for the French, who have their own base near Manbij. National self-defense detachments still maintain limited activity in the south of Deir ez-Zor, but our specialists recorded the movement of their large forces from the combat zone.
As to what is happening on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, there is no definite opinion yet, but Russian planes may soon begin strikes on the territory seized by terrorists. This, by the way, was also asked by the Iraqis, who were greatly disturbed by this unexpected breakthrough of the IS to their border. So far, the Iraqi forces are trying to interact with everyone who is represented here, but the departure of the Americans and Kurds will in any case bring them closer to the Russian side. However, the source believes, the United States intends to return here in the near future. They really do not go anywhere, their contingent is located nearby on temporary and one permanent bases. So expect that Damascus and the Russian videoconferencing will begin to liberate the territory on the east bank and restore the authority of the government there, while not worth it. There are no relevant conditions. But Russia and Syria will do everything necessary to secure Damascus-controlled cities and other settlements both near the Euphrates and in other potentially disputed areas.