Russia Warns US: Any SDF Attack on Syrian Army to Be Repelled

September 21, 2017

Russian military spokesman, Igor Konashenko

 

Russia warned the United States of reprisals Thursday after artillery fire from an area controlled by US-backed militants in eastern Syria targeted government troops.

A military spokesman in Moscow blamed Syrian Democratic Forces and said future attacks would be repelled.

“Syrian regime forces were twice targeted with massive fire from mortar launchers and rocket artillery from areas east of the Euphrates river where SDF forces and US special forces are,” Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

“A representative of US command in Al Udeid, Qatar, was notified in severe form that attempts to attack from districts where SDF fighters are located will be repelled,” he said.

“Fire positions in these areas will be immediately suppressed with all available weapons,” he said.

Konashenkov said government forces control 85 percent of Deir Ezzor.

“The city will be liberated in the coming week,” he said.

On Monday, Syrian government troops crossed the Euphrates river, sealing off the city on three sides.

Meanwhile, SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militants backed by the US, is pushing the ISIL group from the northeastern part of the province, as the US-led coalition provides air cover.

SourceAFP

OVERVIEW OF BATTLE FOR DEIR EZZOR ON SEPTEMBER 20-21, 2017 (MAPS, PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 20-21, 2017 (Maps, Photos, Videos)

Click to see the full-size map

On September 20, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the Syrian Republican Guard (SRG), the National Defense Forces (NDF) and other pro-government factions seized Masrab, Turayf, Buwaytiyah and Tibni villages and the Salim Mountfrom ISIS on the western bank of the Euphrates River.

At the same day, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched a military operation against ISIS vowing to reach the border with Iraq. The SDF advanced towards the ISIS-held town of al-Suwar and captured 12km of a highway heading to it.

Reports also circulated that some side conducted an airdrop on the Conco Gas Plant north of Khusham. Initial reports suggested that the airdrop was made by government forces. Others argued that it was conducted by the US-led coalition. However, by September 21, no videos or photos had appeared confirming these reports.

On September 21, clashes continued between government forces and ISIS in Khusham town on the eastern bank of the Euphrates where the SAA and the SRG were attempting to break the ISIS defense and to expand its control zone in order to further encircle ISIS in Deir Ezzor city and to set a foothold for an advance towards al-Busayrah.

Government troops destroyed two ISIS vehicles in Deir Ezzor province:

Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 20-21, 2017 (Maps, Photos, Videos)

Click to see the full-size image

Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 20-21, 2017 (Maps, Photos, Videos)

Click to see the full-size image

Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 20-21, 2017 (Maps, Photos, Videos)

Click to see the full-size image

The Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russian forces will strike any forces, including the US-backed SDF, that would attack Syrian government forces in the Deir Ezzor countryside.

Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the Russian side warned the US command in Al Udeid, Qatar, that “any attempts of shelling from the areas where the militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces are based will be immediately curbed.”

“Firing points in these areas will be immediately suppressed by all means of destruction,” Konashenkov said.

The statement followed multiple claims by the SDF and the US-led coalition that they will “defend” themselves from alleged attacks of government forces. Earlier this month, the SDF even threatened to not allow government forces to cross the Euphrates River.

Konashenkov added that “the Syrian governmental troops have been shelled twice from the areas on the western bank of the Euphrates controlled by the Syrian Democratoc Forces and the US military.” This likely was a reason why Russia announced its decision to bomb any side what would attack government troops and Russian special task forces.

The Russian military spokesman added that the SDF is redeploying forces from Raqqah to Deir Ezzor frontlines.

ISIS uses an armed DIY drone in order to stop government forces crossing the Euphrates River:

Russian Special Operations Forces service members are in Deir Ezzor city:

Overview Of Battle For Deir Ezzor On September 20-21, 2017 (Maps, Photos, Videos)

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