Deir al-Zor

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Place.png Deir al-Zor
Syria Oil.jpg
City in eastern Syria, scene of a 2018 US/NATO airstrike to aid jihadist rebels besieging it.

Deir al-Zor (Deir Ezzor), located to the Northeast of the capital Damascus on the shores of the Euphrates River, is the seventh largest city in Syria and the capital of the oil-rich Deir al-Zor Governorate.[1]

Kurds on the offensive

Since 2014, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has been successfully defending Deir al-Zor against attacks by Islamic State, and in August 2017, it was reported that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), mostly made up of Syrian Kurds, were preparing for a military offensive to prevent the SAA from re-establishing full military control over the oil rich-territory.[2]

ISIS transported by US

In October 2017 Dmitry Kiselyov, deputy director of Russian state TV holding company VGTRK, asserted that Syria's liberation process is underway:

"Now ISIS is controlling less than 8% of the Syrian territory. Meanwhile, the Americans have pretty much wiped the ISIS capital, Raqqa, off the map.
"The ruins went to the Kurds. The remaining terrorist fighters were carefully transported to help those who are unsuccessfully defending Deir Ezzor. So cynical."[3]

Military Council

The Deir Ezzor Military Council (DEMC), a completely separate entity from the SDF, is comprised of Kurdish YPG fighters and Arab terrorists, likely ISIS and al-Nusra elements. Rather than just receiving military support from the US-led coalition, DEMC fighters are actually on the payroll of the US Department of State and under the direct strategic guidance of the Pentagon.

On 9 February 2018, two days after US-led coalition airstrikes on Syrian Arab Army positions, DEMC forces began storming SAA-held towns of Khashim and Tabiyyah on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River as part of an determined assault to capture the settlements.[4]

Mattis "telling lies"

Commenting on US warplanes massacring around 100 Syrian and allied forces in Deir Ezzor on 7 February 2018, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis lied calling it “self-defense", and adding:

“Obviously we are not getting engaged in the Syrian civil war.”[5]

The Russian defence ministry noted that the US coalition had failed to co-ordinate their action with the Russian military, but said the incident:

"again showed that the US is maintaining its illegal presence in Syria not to fight the Islamic State group, but to seize and hold Syrian economic assets".[6]


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Washington Wants Syria's OilArticle30 August 2017Anna JaungerThe future of Syria and its geopolitical strategic equation will depend on who controls the oil-rich region of Deir al-Zor.
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