Kurds and Assadists at Deir az-Zor

The Kurds and the Assad regime have both reached Deir az-Zor. The general working arrangement between the two has been that the Kurds get one side of the Euphrates and the regime gets the other. However, the regime is preparing to deploy pontoon bridges across the river, which would cross a stated red line by the US.

It's not really unreasonable for the regime to want the area immediately across the river. After all, the Kurds to control some territory on the regime's side. However, they don't seem to be asking, and this may result in clashes between the regime and the Kurds. There's a non-zero chance we may see a US airstrike on regime forces in the next few days.

Tensions between the Kurds (SDF) and the regime continue to rise in Deir az-Zor, with the SDF giving the regime an ultimatum not to cross the Euphrates, and the regime announcing they'll ignore it. I do not think the regime is actually planning to fight the Kurds right now. They have Deir-az-Zor besieged, but aren't actively engaging in a massive campaign to take the city, so their forces are relatively mobile. The SDF, on the other hand, is currently clearing Raqqa block by block, and simply does not have the spare resources for a large scale clearing operation to the south. The SDF's only advantage is that the US will bomb the regime if it starts killing Kurds, so the regime just has to not do that and they'll be fine.

I'm guessing Assad's next move will be to push south to Mayadeen, probably circumventing the intervening towns by passing through the desert. Mayadeen is the next major crossing south of Deir-az-Zor itself, and is on the opposite side of the Khabur river from the Kurds, so they can't get to it by cutting through the desert. Once the regime takes it, they'll probably cross the river there and then push north to the mouth of the Khabur. If the Kurds manage to reach the Khabur before the regime, then they can start giving ultimatums that actually mean something.

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