first published on September 12, 2017 by Will
A Russian frigate patrolling the Mediterranean Sea fired a barrage of “Kalibr” cruise missiles into the ISIS-held city of Der ez Zor, Syria, as the Russian-backed SAA and US-backed SDF both officially launch operations to retake the city.
Der ez Zor has held a contingent of Syrian troops that have been cut off and surrounded for three years, and have only been able to be supplied and reinforced by air. As Western-backed forces and pro-Assad forces both compete for the city, the chances for an international incident between them will be at their greatest.
The US has announced that it will target any SAA elements that attempt to cross the river, and some twitter reports indicate that that may have already happened. The problem for the US/SDF is that that the actual city of Der ez Zor, as well as the airfield, lies on the southwest side of the river, opposite of the ground they hold. If the US, Russia, and Syria are not secretly deconflicting airspace and artillery fires with each other, this battle has the potential to be disastrous for all parties involved.