Without Gains.. Assad’s Forces Control Deir ez-Zor

Without Gains.. Assad’s Forces Control Deir ez-Zor

Enab Baladi Enab Baladi
SYRIA21.jpg

Members of Assad's Forces during the battles against the Islamic State Organization (IS) in Deir ez-Zor - September 2017 (Sputnik)

The control of the Assad forces and the militias supporting them over the city of Deir ez-Zor was radically different from their control over other Syrian regions and cities. The declaration of control created a fuss bigger than the reality of things on the ground — Assad’s forces controlled some of the destroyed neighbourhoods and dozens of lanes and streets without sufficient gains for the distinct trophy was the share of Syria’s Democratic Forces (SDF), on the opposite side of the Euphrates river.

Months after urban warfare which Assad’s forces fought against the Islamic State Organization (IS) in the neighbourhoods of Hawija Saqr, al-Senaa, al-Umal, Hamidiya, Hawija Qatie, al-Rusafa and Knamat, the Organization started to collapse, at the beginning of October, due to the dispersion of its different military fronts.

This progress coincides with the opening of the new axis on the Syrian-Iraqi border in a move to reach the city of Abu Kamal, which is witnessing an international race between the local forces: Assad’s forces on the one hand and Syria’s Democratic Forces on the other.

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A Profitless Control

The Central Military Media, affiliated with Assad’s forces, considered that “After a series of accurate operations, regiments of the Syrian Armey and ally forces accomplished their task in restoring security to Deir ez-Zor.”

It also said that the importance of the control lies in the strategic location of the city of Deir ez-Zor for it constitutes a transportation knot linking the eastern region with the northern and central regions. It also forms a main passage between Badia Al-Sham (Syrian Desert), the Syrian Jezireh and from there to Iraq, in addition to its economic importance as an agricultural area, which is a major reservoir for oil and gas.

However, the reality of the action on the ground shows that the progress of Assad’s forces is not leading to any gains. There are certain reasons for such a failure, which relate to the strategic regions and areas, which the forces lost for SDF, including the region’s oil fields—  Koniku gas field, al-Jafra fields, al-Omar field, adjacent to the Assad’s fronts on the northern side of the city of Mayadin, and al-Tanak oil field, near the city of Abu Kamal, which have been controlled by the Kurdish forces without an official declaration one day after Assad’s forces began their battle in the direction of Abu Kamal.

The field control map shows that Assad’s forces and militias supporting them have controlled large areas of the west bank of Deir ez-Zor, in the past two months. However, the forces lacked reliable strategic elements, except for Deir ez-Zor military airport and Brigade 137, which constitute a pure military value without any strategic profits.

As for casualties, the Syrian regime, during the battles of the governorate, lost three senior officers, most notably the commander of the battle of

The control of the Assad forces and the militias supporting them over the city of Deir ez-Zor was radically different from their control over other Syrian regions and cities. The declaration of control created a fuss bigger than the reality of things on the ground — Assad’s forces controlled some of the destroyed neighbourhoods and dozens of lanes and streets without sufficient gains for the distinct trophy was the share of Syria’s Democratic Forces (SDF), on the opposite side of the Euphrates river.

Months after urban warfare which Assad’s forces fought against the Islamic State Organization (IS) in the neighbourhoods of Hawija Saqr, al-Senaa, al-Umal, Hamidiya, Hawija Qatie, al-Rusafa and Knamat, the Organization started to collapse, at the beginning of October, due to the dispersion of its different military fronts.

This progress coincides with the opening of the new axis on the Syrian-Iraqi border in a move to reach the city of Abu Kamal, which is witnessing an international race between the local forces: Assad’s forces on the one hand and Syria’s Democratic Forces on the other.

 

A Profitless Control

The Central Military Media, affiliated with Assad’s forces, considered that “After a series of accurate operations, regiments of the Syrian Armey and ally forces accomplished their task in restoring security to Deir ez-Zor.”

It also said that the importance of the control lies in the strategic location of the city of Deir ez-Zor for it constitutes a transportation knot linking the eastern region with the northern and central regions. It also forms a main passage between Badia Al-Sham (Syrian Desert), the Syrian Jezireh and from there to Iraq, in addition to its economic importance as an agricultural area, which is a major reservoir for oil and gas.

However, the reality of the action on the ground shows that the progress of Assad’s forces is not leading to any gains. There are certain reasons for such a failure, which relate to the strategic regions and areas, which the forces lost for SDF, including the region’s oil fields—  Koniku gas field, al-Jafra fields, al-Omar field, adjacent to the Assad’s fronts on the northern side of the city of Mayadin, and al-Tanak oil field, near the city of Abu Kamal, which have been controlled by the Kurdish forces without an official declaration one day after Assad’s forces began their battle in the direction of Abu Kamal.

The field control map shows that Assad’s forces and militias supporting them have controlled large areas of the west bank of Deir ez-Zor, in the past two months. However, the forces lacked reliable strategic elements, except for Deir ez-Zor military airport and Brigade 137, which constitute a pure military value without any strategic profits.

 

As for casualties, the Syrian regime, during the battles of the governorate, lost three senior officers, most notably the commander of the battle of Deir ez-Zor Issam Zahreddine, followed by Colonel Wael Wael Zizfoun, who was killed less than 48 hours after his appointment as commander of the military campaign, in addition to other four leaders of four groups in the Tiger Forces that have emerged as active participants in daily battles.

Race to Abu Kamal .. Who Arrives First?

 

Moving to the southern military axis of Deir ez-Zor, Assad’s forces and their equivalent militias are trying to reach the town of Abu Kamal, and in recent days, they have made significant progress in controlling the second station, T2, and are moving slowly 11 kilometres to the east.

However, this progress is matched by SDF’s attempts, supported by the US-led Coalition, to reach the city as well, in a military scene that embodies an international race between the United States and Russia.

According The field control map, US-led coalition is trying to close the passage that the Syrian regime seeks to open with an Iranian support, from Iraq to the capital Damascus, amidst talks about the regime’s intention to connect the areas it controls in  al-Tanf military base with the sites it intends to control in the city of Abu Kamal and the areas surrounding it.

 

Abu Kamal is characterized by strength points, which can be invoked in any process aiming to control or maintain the city. It is considered as the second largest departmental city in the Deir ez-Zor governorate, and it is one of the first Syrian cities that went out of the Syrian regime’s control, in November 17, 2012. In addition to this, the city occupies an important geographical position for it is a gateway between the Syrian and Iraqi borders, dominated by the Islamic State Organization (IS), in 27 June 2014, which turned it to its most important outlets to Iraq.

On the other side of Abu Kamal, the Iraqi forces are also fighting against the Organization. They took control of the city of al-Qaim, west of al-Anbar governorate. The US-led coalition described al-Qaim operation as the “last great battle.”

The coalition expected that the battle would end with a meeting on both sides of the border to encircle the Organization in the Euphrates valley, which extends from Deir ez-Zor, east of Syria, to al-Qaim, in western Iraq.

Issam Zahreddine, followed by Colonel Wael Wael Zizfoun, who was killed less than 48 hours after his appointment as commander of the military campaign, in addition to other four leaders of four groups in the Tiger Forces that have emerged as active participants in daily battles.

Race to Abu Kamal .. Who Arrives First?

Moving to the southern military axis of Deir ez-Zor, Assad’s forces and their equivalent militias are trying to reach the town of Abu Kamal, and in recent days, they have made significant progress in controlling the second station, T2, and are moving slowly 11 kilometres to the east.

However, this progress is matched by SDF’s attempts, supported by the US-led Coalition, to reach the city as well, in a military scene that embodies an international race between the United States and Russia.

According The field control map, US-led coalition is trying to close the passage that the Syrian regime seeks to open with an Iranian support, from Iraq to the capital Damascus, amidst talks about the regime’s intention to connect the areas it controls in  al-Tanf military base with the sites it intends to control in the city of Abu Kamal and the areas surrounding it.

Abu Kamal is characterized by strength points, which can be invoked in any process aiming to control or maintain the city. It is considered as the second largest departmental city in the Deir ez-Zor governorate, and it is one of the first Syrian cities that went out of the Syrian regime’s control, in November 17, 2012. In addition to this, the city occupies an important geographical position for it is a gateway between the Syrian and Iraqi borders, dominated by the Islamic State Organization (IS), in 27 June 2014, which turned it to its most important outlets to Iraq.

On the other side of Abu Kamal, the Iraqi forces are also fighting against the Organization. They took control of the city of al-Qaim, west of al-Anbar governorate. The US-led coalition described al-Qaim operation as the “last great battle.”

The coalition expected that the battle would end with a meeting on both sides of the border to encircle the Organization in the Euphrates valley, which extends from Deir ez-Zor, east of Syria, to al-Qaim, in western Iraq.

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