KILIKYA – Reports are coming in that US-backed forces have launched an all-out offensive against the Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitary groups near two government-held towns in Deir Ezzor province.

Moments ago, opposition sources began to report that forces of the US-led Deir Ezzor Military Council began storming positions of the Syrian Army and National Defence Forces at the government-held towns of Khashim and Tabiyyah on the eastern shore of the Euphrates River as part of an determined assault to capture the settlements.

The assault by the Deir Ezzor Military Council is being backed up by artillery, however, so far no instances of airstrikes by coalition warplanes against positions of the Syrian Army and allied forces have been reported.

The Deir Ezzor Military Council is a completely separate entity from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Rather than just receiving military support from the US-led coalition, its fighters – virtually all ethnic Arabs – are actually on the payroll of the US Department of State and under the direct strategic guidance of the Pentagon (quite like the Free Syrian Army mercenaries at Al-Tanf).

No gains by US-backed forces appear to have happened yet. Sources are stressing that the SDF is in no way involved in the offensive.