VIDEO MAP: Raqqah, Deir Ezzor and the Syrian desert (June 10, 2017)
BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:49 P.M.) – All across Syria, the various major fronts are in motion, igniting with a degree of ferocity to match the heat of the 2017 summer period itself. From Raqqah to Deir Ezzor, to the Syrian Baridah, pro-government forces, US-backed separatists and mercenaries groups and ISIS are all engaged in an intense scramble for securing territory and key locations.
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Since liberating Maskanah and reaching the Aleppo-Raqqah provincial border, the Syrian Arab Army – led by the elite Tiger Forces – has continued to advance south, clearing more villages of ISIS and reaching lines belonging to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who themselves launched a small northwards attack.
Clashes were reported between the Syrian Army and SDF along the contact link and several reports came in suggesting that pro-government forces bombed SDF positions in the area. Other reports have come in in recent hours suggesting that US airpower has struck a pro-government convoy in retaliation.
Meanwhile, in the area around Raqqah city …
SDF forces, backed up by heavy artillery bombardment and Coalition airpower have begun to storm the city of Raqqah from its western and eastern directions. As they have begun to storm the city, SDF forces have come under intense sniper fire from ISIS.
As of the 10th of June, the SDF has seized the village of Al-Jazrah and the districts of Sabiyah and Mashlab. All advances have been made under the cover US artillery and airpower assets.
Moving over to the strategic city of Deir Ezzor …
On the 2nd of June, ISIS launched a large scale offensive on the 137th Brigade Base and the Panorama area with the aim of eroding pro-government defensive perimeter to the west of the city.
By the 8th of June, ISIS had captured the Driving School, Panorama Farms, the Panorama Checkpoint and the Syriatel Hill, whilst the Panorama Roundabout became a contested zone.
By the 9th of June, the pro-government forces rebuffed all attacks on 137th Brigade Base, and launched a series of counterattacks in the Panorama area. In addition to this, pro-government airpower has targetted ISIS positions in the Thardeh Mountains.
As of the 10th of June, pro-government forces managed to retake the Panorama Checkpoint, whilst the Panorama Roundabout continues to remain a contested area.
In the vast spaces of the Syrian Desert …
US-backed Free Syrian Army mercenaries operating in the region have over the last week launched series of hopelessly unsuccessful attacks on pro-government forces in the area of Zuluf and the Zaza Checkpoint – resorting the release of fake news field reports to compensate for their failures in reality. Two separate attempts by pro-government forces to advance directly on the town of al-Tanf has resulted in their being bombed by Coalition airpower for each attempt. However on the 9th of June, pro-government forces led a cross-desert shock attack towards the Iraqi border, outflanking al-Tanf from the northeast and de facto establishing a presence along the Syrian-Iraqi border. Whether this move was conducted in order to just to prevent a Coalition-backed FSA advance east of al-Tanf or as part of a wider pro-government operation to expand into the southeastern sections of Syria, or both, is yet to be seen.