The Race to Reach Deir Al-Zour

Eldorar Alshamia Editor | 19 May, 2017

ElDorar AlShamia:

The Syrian province of Deir al-Zour, located in the eastern part of Syria, with large parts of which are under the control of IS organization, is of great strategic importance to all parties. The Syrian Free Army (FSA), which entered the administrative borders of the province from the south and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has approached the western side of the city which is is considered a real target to the Assad regime and Iranian militias, as well as the Iraqi militias.

Deir al-Zour, in which IS organization began thinking to be its military  and administrative capital, after the attacks on the city of Raqqa by the US-backed SDF, and the possibility of falling or to be besieged completely paid the organization to transfer many of its offices , headquarters and militants with their families from Raqqa to Deir al-Zour late last month, April, according to US sources.

“IS organization intends to move its capital from Raqqa to Deir al-Zour because of the attack was launched on the city and the likely of being totally besieged”,  Fox News reported.

 Fox News also added: US drone aircraft spotted a total transfer of the "organization" from Raqqa to the city of Mayadeen in the province of Deir al-Zour.

Meanwhile, the international coalition-backed Free Syrian Army forces began to move towards Deir al-Zour from the Syrian south. The US-backed  SDF began to move from the west. At the same time, the Syrian regime began to move towards Deir al-Zour , covered by Russin air forces, in cooperation with the Iraqi government and the Iran-backed militias, which intensified their statements talking about a very near battle of the Iraqi-Syrian border.

All of the above shows that the province of Deir al-Zour has become a centeral destination racing the local and regional forces to reach and expel IS organization off and capture the province and take advantage of its sites and oil fields as well.

FSA approaches the borders of Deir al-Zour in preparation to liberate

The first entry of the Syrian Free Army forces into the administrative border of Deir al-Zour was in June last year 2016. The so-called "New Syria Army", supported by the United States and Britain, was at the peak of its activity headed to the Syrian-Iraqi border, and then to the north to announce in the same month the beginning of the operation of "Earth Day", which aims to control the border city of al-BoKamal, in coordination with the international coalition forces and cut the road between Iraq and Syria, and prevent the organization from the transfer of forces between the two countries.

However, the formation was soon exposed to collapse as a result of counter-attacks launched by IS organization on them on the one hand, and administrative corruption within this new faction’s leadership on the other hand , which led to the dissolution and the establishment of an alternative military entity, under the name of "the Commanders of the Revolution Army," where its commander a few days ago, Colonel "Muhannad Tlaa said" Now the army has been equiped to start a battle aimed at liberating Deir al-Zour and expelling the organization out.

In parallel with the statements made by the military factions in the south on the battle of al-Deir, FSA factions in the Syrian north began their first movements. This was marked by a statement signed by 8 factions, most notably the al-Jabha al-Shamia, Sultan Murad ,Lewa’ al-Ghorabaa and military union of Deir al-Zour locals, "which aims to liberate the city from Is organization, the Assad regime, and YPG militia as well.

Assad, Russia and Iran are trying to Cut off.

The Syrian regime and its Iranian allies considers the city of Deir al-Zour as an irreplaceable link between Iran and Iraq, Syria and their Lebanese ally ,Hezbollah.

It would mean extending the area of ​​its influence, which would extend from the south through Badia to Deir al-Zour, thus cutting off the road to Iran and the regime which would lose the oil wells there, in addition to losing the border with Iraq.

The regime began to move with the help of Iranian, Iraqi and local militias, with the aim of blocking the free army by controlling the Damascus-Baghdad road and the triangle area and curbing any military operation to be launched towards al-Deir. At the same time, these militias began to crawl and moved to the specific area east of the triangle, and was able to secure the node of international roads: Iraq - Jordan - Damascus, "and also declared explicitly that “al-Tanaf” crossing is a priority, which led the Free Syrian Army factions  to push there to fortify the region and to pay greater military reinforcements to repel any new attempt to progress.

The Russian central channel of Humimim military base, , 24 hours ago, announced a military operation that would begin in the coming period on the Syrian-Iraqi border, with the participation of both the Assad and Iraqi army forces, air coverings by Russia and military coordination from Russia and Iran, in order to secure the fast land line between Damascus and Baghdad, and the lifting of the siege on the city of Deir al-Zour, where there are still three neighborhoods under the control of the regime, and the channel confirmed that the process will be a race vs the factions of FSA, alongside the Jordanian border, with the support of the US United States.

Iraqi militias to Deir al-Zour Also!

The Iraqi army and Iraqi militias have also begun to turn their attention to Syria, despite the battles they are waging in their territory, which caused heavy losses, especially in the province of Mosul.

The Iraqi intervention came as a surprise, as the statements of some of its leaders turned into actions marked by aerial raids on the organization in the city of al-BoKamal, where the Prime Minister, "Haider Abadi" orders his forces to launch air strikes against IS organization’s sites in Syria, last February, when the US Defense Department announced that the Iraqi air force launched air strikes on the organization in Syria, according to Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis were "good and effective."

More than two months after the Iraqi air strikes, the Iraqi militias began to come to Syria, the most prominent of which is the so-called "Ebdal Iraqi movement" and the force "313" stationed in the Badia area, to begin processing a military operation towards the crossing.

At the same time, the military commander of the Iraqi "popular crowd" militia, Karim Nouri, said that a battle on the Iraqi-Syrian border would be concentrated off the city of al-BoKamal and then would be transferred to the Syrian interior as part of a series of statements to Al-Hayat newspaper late last month " April".


SDF aims at controlling Deir al-Zour

The YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces launched a military operation in February aimed at taking control of Deir al-Zour, days after the formation of the military council of Deir al-Zour, which is directly supported by it. Crawling from the north-west, and controlled large areas within the administrative boundaries of the province.

The Russian press began to promot the military operation led by SDF militias two months ago, where the Russian newspaper "Izvestia"reported that a joint military operation likely to began by the Assad forces cooperated with the YPG militia aims to reach Deir al-Zour and control over, noting that the parties reached an agreement provides for the management of operations there, prioritizing attack and defense.

At the same time, the newspaper said that it is too early to talk about the breaking the siege of Deir al-Zour, because the basic force of the "Syrian Democratic Forces" is busy in the process of control of rural Raqqa with the support of the United States.

In conclusion, it is not possible to predict which of the powers will reach the city first, especially as all parties appear to be serious about their desire to take over the city and pay all their strength to achieve that which may lead them to engage in military conflicts between each other or to reach political understandings either, but it is known that IS organization will be the biggest loser.





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