RNA - The troops of the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF), a group that receives support from the US military, twice attacked positions of the Syrian Arab Army in the Deir Ezzur province with mortar and rocket fire, according to the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov.
Meantime, the Syrian army and popular forces continued their military advances in other parts of Syria, including Deir Ezzur .
Konashenkov said, “Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed." Adding
He further added that the attacks put at risk Russian military advisers embedded with Syrian government troops.
“Fire from positions in regions controlled by the SDF will be suppressed by all means necessary,” he stressed.
Konashenkov said Moscow suspected the SDF of colluding with the terrorist group ISIL in Deir Ezzur rather than fighting it, as it claims to be. He said Russia had detected the transfer of SDF militants from the ISIL stronghold of Raqqa, to join forces with the terrorists.
“SDF militants work to the same objectives as ISIL terrorists. Russian drones and intelligence have not recorded any confrontations between ISIL and the ‘third force,’ the SDF,” the Russian general said.
The statement said that the siege of Raqqa by the SDF was halted, apparently in response to the latest advances by Syrian government forces in Deir Ezzur, which was located to the East from Raqqa along the Euphrates River.
“The Central parts of the former ISIL capital, which account for roughly 25 percent of the city, remain under full control of the terrorists,” Konashenkov remarked.
According to the statement, the Syrian government troops “continued their offensive operation” to destroy the last “ISIL bridgehead” near the city of Deir Ezzur, the provincial capital. Troops led by Syrian Army General Suheil al-Hassan liberated around 16 sq/km of territory and two settlements on the Western bank of the Euphrates River.
“More than 85 percent of Deir Ezzur territory is under the full control of Syrian troops. Over the next week the city will be liberated completely,” Konashenkov said.
The city of Deir Ezzur in Eastern Syria was besieged by ISIL in 2014. Syrian government forces lifted the blockade of the city in early September.
However, the liberation of Deir Ezzur also triggered a confrontation between Syrian government forces and the US-backed SDF militants, the point of contention being control of Deir Ezzur's oil fields.
Following Damascus’s strategic victory, food, medicine and other essentials started to reach the city by convoy, where previously the inhabitants had to rely on air-drops.
Konashenkov further said on Thursday that the Syrian government troops were shelled twice from areas on the Western bank of the Euphrates controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US military.
"The Syrian governmental troops have been shelled twice from the areas on the Western bank of the Euphrates controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the US military," Konashenkov said.
Reports also said on Thursday that the Syrian army continued its advances Northwest of Deir Ezzur, and managed to take back several more regions there.
The army units continued their fight against the ISIL Northwest of Deir Ezzur and took control of Khariteh, Tarif and Masram regions.
The Syrian troops also purged terrorism from the newly-liberated areas and fortified their military positions.
In the meantime, the Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Thursday that the city of Deir Ezzur would be completely liberated from ISIL terrorists within the next week despite blatant Kurdish cooperation with the terror group’s forces further to the East.
Konashenkov said that whilst the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces continue to secure the Western bank of the Euphrates River, the city of Deir Ezzur would be “liberated completely” from ISIL “over the next week”..
Despite ongoing offensive operations against ISIL to the Northwest and East of Deir Ezzur, it appears that Syrian Army forces now plan to open yet another front against the terrorist group, this being within the city itself.
Local sources said on Thursday that a new group of ISIL terrorists, including a senior commander, fled Eastern Deir Ezzur amid the rapid advances of the Syrian Army troops in the province.
The sources pointed to the continuing trend of ISIL terrorists' fleeing from Deir Ezzur, and said Nasr al-Shamri nom de guerre Jahjah, a notorious ISIL commander, has fled al-Basireh region in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army continued to advance on the Western bank of the Euphrates River in Western Deir Ezzur, and took back the town of al-Tabani.
The government troops also managed to take control of al-Bavitieh region, Salim mountain, salt mine and Khan Zahreh region on the Western bank of the Euphrates.
Meantime, a military source disclosed that the Syrian army troops have laid full siege over the ISIL in Southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzur city by advancing further in the terrorist-controlled areas.
Russia’s General Staff said about 850 militants were killed as the Syrian forces, backed by Russian warplanes, repelled an attack by militants in a "de-escalation zone" in the Syrian province of Idlib.
The Russian General Staff said in a statement that the Fatah al-Sham Front, also known as al-Nusra Front militant group and its allies launched an offensive on the positions of government forces stationed to the North and Northeast of Hama city on Tuesday morning, press tv reported.
General Sergei Rudskoy, the spokesman for the Russian General Staff, said some 850 militants were killed as the Russian command in Syria ordered an operation, including air raids and a ground offensive conducted by the military and special operations forces, to thwart the terrorist attack.
The statement added that the militants suffered heavy losses as 11 tanks, three infantry fighting vehicles, 46 armed pickup trucks, five mortars, 20 freighter trucks and 38 ammo supply points were destroyed in the operation.
He noted that three Russian troops from the special operations forces were also wounded in the operation.
The Russian military said that the militants' offensive was meant to derail the successful operation of the government forces East of Deir Ezzur.
Russia, Iran and Turkey, which together act as guarantor states in peace talks for Syria, agreed on the details of a “de-escalation zone” in Idlib province during resolution talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana earlier this month.
In a joint statement on September 15, the three countries said they had agreed "to allocate" their forces to patrol the zone covering Idlib province and parts of the neighboring Latakia, Hama and Aleppo regions.
In the meantime, unidentified assailants shot dead three senior commanders of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) in Idlib and the city's outskirts.
Several websites close to the terrorist groups reported that Abu Yahya Tunisi and Abu Soleiman Maghrebi, both of them notorious commanders of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at terrorist group, have been killed by unknown gunmen in al-Kornish street in the center of Idlib city.
The websites also reported that another senior commander of Al-Nusra Front, Abu Dajaneh Faransavi, was also shot down by unknown assailants in the outskirts of Idlib city.
Tahrir al-Sham ultimately pushed Ahrar al-Sham back from Idlib city late July after weeks of bloody clashes in Northwestern Syria.
The Syrian army continued its military operation against Al-Nusra Front in Northern Hama, killing a number of terrorists, including a notorious commander.
Maher Alu Abu Al-Abbas, field commander of Al-Nusra Front, was killed in tough battle with the Syrian army in Northern Hama, the websites close to the terrorist groups reported.
Abu Al-Abbas participated in battles against the Syrian army in Aleppo and Idlib cities.
The news comes as the Al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups launched massive attacks against the Syrian army which resulted in the death and injury of at least 850 terrorists, including several senior commanders
Reports also said on Thursday that at least 850 terrorists were killed and wounded in the army's military operations in Northern Hama as an army command center came under attack.
The Syrian army also destroyed military equipment, including 20 military vehicles of the terrorists in Northern Hama.
The Syrian army and its allies also took back the regions that they had temporarily withdrawn from by launching reverse operations in Northern Hama after fending off the attacks by Al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups. The terrorist groups' attacks came in violation of the de-escalation of tensions agreements.
The Syrian troops also managed to destroy 9 military vehicles, five tanks and four BMP military vehicles.
The ISIL-linked terrorists dealt a heavy blow to the rival Free Syrian Army in Southwestern Dara'a province, killing over a dozen FSA militants.
At least 13 Free Syrian Army terrorists were killed by the ISIL-linked Saifullah Maslul Army in Yarmouk Basin area in Southwestern Dara'a province.
Field sources said on Thursday that the Syrian army engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists in the surrounding areas of Jubb al-Jarah region East of Homs, and took control of Mazin al-Baqar village.
The army units also advanced towards the Tal Ayed al-Hassoun to the East of al-Masoudieh village in the outskirts of Jubb al-Jarah and took military control of the region.
The Syrian army troops killed a large number of terrorists and destroyed their military equipment in Eastern Homs.