The province of Deir ez-Zour has represented one of ISIS’ most important strongholds, especially since the terrorist group’s dramatic demise over the past few months. Several inhabitants of the area were displaced as a result of the group’s brutal rule and clashes between ISIS and forces antagonistic to it, mainly the regime’s Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
Parts of Deir ez-Zour are now under the control of the Kurdish-dominated and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The group has formed a civilian council in Deir ez-Zour, just as it has in Raqqa and Manbij, in order to manage the affairs in the area.
The most pressing issue at this moment in time for the Civilian Council is the return of displaced people back to their homes. The Council, in cooperation with the SDF and the Public Relations Office, is implementing its plan to return civilians back to liberated areas.
There are still pockets of ISIS-held territory remaining in Deir ez-Zour province. The SAA regained full control of the city of Deir ez-Zour from after the city had been under a siege by ISIS for over 3 years.
This week, the southeast Deir ez-Zour countryside witnessed heavy fighting between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Islamic State (IS). After capturing the town of Qataa on Monday, the SAA’s Tiger Forces pushed along the Euphrates, reaching the town of Jalaa. Jalaa itself was reported captured by the Tiger Forces on Tuesday afternoon, alongside the villages of Ramadi and Buq’an.
To the north of the Euphrates River, ISIS continued to come under pressure from the SDF. Over the course of Tuesday, heavy fighting was reported around the town of Khara’ij, as well as along the outskirts of the SDF-controlled town of Abu Hammam where a small group of IS militants remain hemmed in. Areas to the north of the Euphrates River are now mostly under the control of the SDF after they launched their operations in the province in September.