In a blatantly ominous move—solidifying the notion that the U.S. military machine supports and sustains the proliferation of ISIS—U.S.-backed rebels openly stated they will prevent the Syrian army from crossing the Euphrates River to recover eastern Syria from ISIS militants.
The oil-rich province of Deir al-Zor is Islamic State's last major foothold in Syria and Iraq. It is bisected by the Euphrates River. The threats by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to attack the Syrian army for attempting to cross the river is in de facto defense of ISIS.
As Reuters reports, military council commander Ahmed Abu Khawla warned government forces and their militia allies against firing across the river as his fighters close in — something he said had happened in recent days.
"Now we have 3 km between us and the eastern riverbank, once our forces reach the area, any shot fired into that area we will consider an attack on the military council," he said.