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Thursday, June 21

Allegation that US, SDF have been helping Islamic State in Syria again

"Military analysts stress that the ISIL could never cross the Euphrates River from the East to the Western Bank to attack the army without the assistance of the US military and the SDF."

There have been several published allegations, going back years, that the U.S. and/or its proxies and allies have been helping Islamic State, both in direct and indirect ways, in Syria. The same allegations have been made about the U.S. and other terrorist groups in Syria, including al Qaeda ones. And certainly the U.S. has been caught time and again helping terrorist or terrorist-linked groups in Syria that the U.S. command claims are 'moderate rebels' -- until a claim collapses from the weight of evidence. 

But I find this most recent allegation particularly disturbing because it rests simply on straightforward logic; i.e., IS couldn't have forded the river at a certain point without the help. Can we be certain that's the case? Not without one of those situation maps at SouthFront that only military geeks can understand. But given the history of U.S. attempts to stymie Syrian troops in Deir Ezzor I'm inclined to believe this allegation has teeth.  

US Troops, Allied Militias Cooperating with ISIL to Attack Syrian Army in Deir Ezzur
June 20, 2019
FARS

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US forces and their allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been transferring ISIL terrorists to the Western Bank of the Euphrates River to launch attacks on the Syrian Army in the region, a media outlet said on Wednesday.

The Arabic-language al-Watan daily [Syria] quoted militant-affiliated sources as disclosing that the US forces and the SDF have halted clashes on the Eastern bank of the Euphrates River in Eastern Deir Ezzur to concentrate on a vital region bordering Southern Hasaka and Northern Deir Ezzur.

The daily further said that ISIL terrorists are currently penetrating into the Western bank of the Euphrates River from the East to launch attacks on the Syrian Army positions along a region stretching between the border with Iraq and Deir Ezzur city.

Military analysts stress that the ISIL could never cross the Euphrates River from the East to the Western Bank to attack the army without the assistance of the US military and the SDF.

Field reports had previously revealed that the US military had embarked on transferring ISIL terrorists to Albu Kamal strategic region to attack the army positions on the Western bank of the Euphrates River near the border with Iraq.

The Arabic website of Sputnik news agency quoted tribal sources in Eastern Syria as saying on Saturday that the US forces transfer the ISIL terrorists from the desert region bordering Iraq to al-Tanf through al-Sukhnah in Homs.

Meantime, one of the prominent tribal leaders in Eastern Syria revealed that Mohannad al-Tala, a US proxy and commander of the so-called New Syrian Forces group in the US base in al-Tanf, has contacted the Syrian tribes, calling on them to open a passage for the terrorists to leave al-Tanf for Deir Ezzur to reach al-Omar oil field.


[Pundita note: The next paragraph is so poorly translated that I gave up trying to patch it. From other reports I've seen, I think the gist is that the U.S. command has been reaching out to tribes in certain Arab regions in Syria where Kurdish forces are located; this in the attempt to help the Kurdish SDF (U.S. proxy force) recruit. But the outreach effort has not been successful. 

See Joshua Landis' 6/19 discussion about Kurdish-Arab tensions in the region ("What happens now in Syria?")  and "Tens of Civilians Arrested in Northeastern Syria after Intensified Tensions with US-Backed Militias"; 6/20, FARS

He added that the US forces fear uprisings by the people in Eastern Syria, noting that one of their goals to approach the tribes is to keep deployment in the region as Washington attempts to win the cooperation of the tribes in Manbij, Hasaka and Deir Ezzur have all failed.

Meantime, the SDF freed its militant inmates and sent them to the battlefield to attack al-Tanf-Sukhnah road in Homs and open a passageway and the Jordan road to al-Tanf.

The US forces had in the past 10 days been busy with transferring the ISIL terrorists with at least 10 armored trucks and heavy artillery to attack Albu Kamal from Abu Hameseh in Hasaka.

[END REPORT]

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