Take a better look at the images at article link- I can only get them really tiny
|White Toyota Trucks Freshly Delivered by the US?|
BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S.-backed forces in Syria will soon launch an offensive to oust Islamic State militants from Deir al-Zor province, their last major foothold in the country, an SDF official said on Friday.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) could start its assault on Deir al-Zor “within several weeks” in parallel with an ongoing battle for nearby Raqqa city, Ahmed Abu Khawla told Reuters.
“The operation to liberate Deir al-Zor will begin very, very soon,” said Khawla, who heads the Deir al-Zor military council that fights under the SDF banner.
Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said its focus remained on Raqqa.So Raqqa may be the focus, but, that does not exclude any peripheral operations.
Focus: the center of interest or activity. Meanwhile the US is involved in may parts of Syria- making Dillon's statement a bit of a red herring?
I do take issue with the lack of direct attribution for the statements?
Reuters: Khawla said military plans were ready, and that his unit had already “entered Deir al-Zor territory and liberated several towns”.
The military council included 4,000 fighters, mostly Arabs and mostly from the province, he said. They had taken part in all the SDF offensives and were now fighting in Raqqa.
Nearly 800 fighters from Deir al-Zor’s tribes said on Thursday they had defected from the Syrian Elite Forces, an Arab group fighting alongside the SDF in Raqqa, to join Khawla’s council.It feels a bit like narrative creation, cover story material..... Makes one wonder who exactly will be in Deir ez Zor to fight the SAA and their allies? I have to ask: Is this just a cover story being presented in the media, as the US backs the fighters presently known as ISIS already located in Deir ez Zor
Just a rebrand of some sort?
Or, did the US simply bring in more Kurds, Special Forces and mercenaries from elsewhere?
Can't be certain, but, this Reuters article feels a bit off....
Flashback: Assad's Speech - Eyes On The Deir Ez-Zor Keystone
"A spokesman revealed that yesterday the SDF received another batch of heavy weapons and armored vehicles from the United States.60 additional pick up trucks, heavy weapons and armored vehicles were delivered on Tuesday.
"In addition, this time we also received Toyota pickup trucks, which have given us an opportunity to transfer additional forces during a military operation.
Reuters: The Syrian army is advancing along the south and west bank of the Euphrates towards Deir al-Zor city. The SDF is mostly on the river’s north and east bank, where Raqqa lies.
Damascus has shored up its rule over much of the country’s populated west with the help of Russian air power and Iran-backed militias.
Now it is marching east towards Deir al-Zor and the vast desert bordering Iraq.That advance has on occasion brought its forces and allies into conflict with the U.S. military and the groups it backs.
But the rival campaigns have mostly stayed out of each other’s way, and the U.S.-led coalition has stressed it is not seeking war with Damascus.Islamic State controls most of Deir al-Zor province, and has besieged the government-held pocket of the provincial capital city for years.
In addition to the United Nations, the Syrian government and its Russian ally have made aid drops into the encircled zone, where residents lack food and medicine.U.N. Syria humanitarian adviser Jan Egeland said there was concern for the civilians in the enclave and others in Islamic State territory as military offensives approach Deir al-Zor.
"We're also concerned also for our lifeline to the people inside Deir al-Zor (city), some 90,000 people and they only have our air drops," he said in Geneva on Thursday.Also from this post:
Assad's Speech - Eyes On The Deir Ez-Zor Keystone
A link to this news:
New Battalion Formed in SDF to 'Fight Terrorism and Occupation' in Syria