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    A view of a damaged site is seen in Raqqa, Syria September 16, 2017

    Raqqa's Liberation Marred By Reports That US Evacuated Daesh Leaders

    © REUTERS/ Rodi Said
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    Brigadier General Ali Maqsud, a prominent Syrian military analyst, has provided Sputnik with his assessment of the Syrian Army's recent advances against Daesh in the Deir ez-Zor area, and on the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces' operation to liberate Raqqa.

    Speaking to Sputnik Arabic about the Syrian forces' recent military successes in the country's east, Maqsud stressed that "without a doubt, the Syrian Army, together with its allies, has achieved great success in recent days by liberating the city of al-Mayadin, which gives us control of the area between the city and the western part of Deir ez-Zor."

    The Syrian Army's elite Tiger Forces liberated al-Mayadin in a strategic operation experts say casts a devastating blow to Daesh defenses in the Euphrates Valley.

    Syrian Army crosses Euphrates River east of Deir ez-Zor
    © Sputnik/ Mikhail Alayeddin
    Syrian Army crosses Euphrates River east of Deir ez-Zor

    Brigadier General Maqsud stressed that "these successes, along with the army's advances along the eastern bank of the Euphrates, are bringing about the imminent defeat of Daesh in Deir ez-Zor province.

    The officer revealed that "now, the Syrian Army is on the verge of an important battle on the Syrian-Iraqi border, after which the liberation of Deir ez-Zor would take place within the space of a few hours."

    Asked to comment on the situation in nearby Raqqa province, where the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a collection of predominantly Kurdish militia including the YPG People's Protection Units, recently announced Raqqa city's complete liberation, Brigadier General Maqsud emphasized that strategically, "while the US allies control some oil fields in this province, this does not give them the strategic advantage. Because the Syrian Army controls all the connecting roads between Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa."

    Furthermore, "the SDF's reports on their liberation of Raqqa have nothing to do with reality," the officer suggested. "It's only an information screen. The Americans were defeated in Syria, but continue to give the appearance before the international community that they are successfully fighting terrorism."

    "At the same time, it's known that they secretly evacuated Daesh leaders out of Raqqa by helicopter gunship, and helped the SDF occupy areas freed from the terrorists," Maqsud said.

    The analyst stressed that according to his information, contrary to SDF and US-led coalition claims, Raqqa not yet been fully freed from Daesh.

    Ultimately, Maqsud emphasized that the Syrian Army respects the SDF, because it is made up of Syrians. However, he warned that if the militia forces are provoked to violate the law or the Syrian constitution, they may find themselves under attack. It is an unfortunate but obvious fact that they are being used as a political and military tool by the US, the officer concluded.

    A Fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces takes a selfie as he stands on a military vehicle in Raqqa, Syria October 17, 2017
    © Sputnik/ Rodi Said
    A Fighter of Syrian Democratic Forces takes a selfie as he stands on a military vehicle in Raqqa, Syria October 17, 2017
    Tags:
    military analyst, military operation, US-led coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Daesh, Syrian Army, Ali Maqsud, Syria
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