The Race for Deir al-Zour Province - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Août 2017 Fabrice Balanche
[...] rumors [are] circulating in Washington about a future U.S.-backed rebel offensive in Deir al-Zour province. According to such rumors, the Arab rebels and SDF will advance on the northern shores of the Euphrates, up to Mayadin, then cross the river and travel until Abu Kamal before seizing the Iraqi border area. Thus, the Syrian army will be limited to taking Deir al-Zour city and its nearby surroundings. Such a development would allow the United States to block the planned Iranian corridor and maintain pressure on the Assad regime. On the other side of the border, the Iraqi army, not the Shia militias, would eliminate the IS presence. The Sunni Arab tribes on both sides of the border would thus be under a U.S. protectorate and the Iranian corridor project rendered moot. Even excepting geopolitical considerations not discussed here, this rosy situation is unlikely to play out, as evidenced by various clues on the ground.