DAMASCUS – According to sources in the Syrian government army, several thousand militants of the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia), who previously surrendered outside the settlement of al-Baguz on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, were transported to the At-Tanf zone through the territories of Iraq and Jordan under the American escort. Those were mostly people from local tribes dwelling in the Syrian and Iraqi territories. Their families and relatives were sent as hostages to Al-Hol camp in Al-Hasakah province.
Most militants were sent to training camps that account for at as many as ten in the American-occupied territory. There are representatives of the group known as “Majmuat Abu Husam” actively working with them. This is sort of “Bedouin special forces” created by Arab employees of American private military companies in Iraq who later joined ISIS.
In exchange for the possibility of amnesty and the well-being of their relatives, the militants are demanded to take part in an operation aimed to establish control over the territory of the so-called White Desert. What is primarily meant here is the attack against the infrastructure of crude oil extracting and processing in the Homs province, namely the districts of Jisal, Ash-Shair, Mahrur and Tvenan north of Palmyra, as well as the Khneifis phosphate mines. These territories have fallen under control of government troops with the support of Russian aviation in 2017 and remain an extremely attractive target to ISIS terrorists and their patrons.
Apart from that, the Americans are interested in the elimination of government posts along the strategic Deir ez-Zor – Damascus route. Currently, militant groups of the Islamic State that came here through the At-Tanf zone are already demonstrating their aggressive behaviour in the White Desert. Over the past ten days, at least twenty Syrian soldiers have been killed in such attacks.
Government forces backed by the Russian airpower continue to locate and destroy the remnants of armed terrorist gangs in the area. According to the Syrian command, about 150 militants, 20 cars with machine guns and 15 motorcyclists have been eliminated in the White Desert in March alone. However the terrorist activity in these areas is not being reduced. Taking advantage of the difficult terrain, a lot of caves and other shelters, the gangs are constantly welcoming reinforcements from At-Tanf, equipping munitions depots and accumulating forces for massive attacks.
The second American focus area, according to the Syrian authorities, is the seizure of territories in central Syria by Kurdish formations of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), established with backing from the Pentagon. Upon completing the armed hostilities in the area of al-Baguz, the SDF command and American instructors refused to send the Kurdish and Arab fighters away, under the pretext of needing them for another landmark operation “against ISIS”. On the outskirts of Raqqa, CIA officers secretly gathered influential sheikhs and invited them to take part in the fight against terrorists west of the Euphrates in exchange for future revenues from the mineral deposits located there. Tribal leaders were promised significant positions in the “confederated democratic state”, which is planned to be created on both sides of the Euphrates under cover of regional US allies.
In the White Desert the Pentagon is obviously working on a plan previously tested in Eastern Syria: to oust the government forces with the hands of terrorists, and then to establish control over the territory of strategic importance and rich in natural resources with the help of Kurdish forces. And that explains why the United States has so stubbornly refused to permit the evacuation of refugees and eliminate the Rukban camp located next to Al-Tanf: under this guise they are training militants to continue their struggle with the Assad government.