The Syrian Arab Army and allied paramilitaries are rushing massive reinforcements to the Euphrates valley region within Deir Ezzor province in what early reports are saying is preparation for an all-out offensive against US-backed forces.
Already, military-affiliated sources note that Syrian Army sentries have stepped up patrols along the west Euphrates bank whilst engineering units have been building new fortified areas and trenches.
Likewise, US-backed forces have reportedly been increasing their presence along the east shore of the river.
The development comes one week after US coalition warplanes attacked Syrian pro-government forces near the army-held town of Khasham on the east Euphrates shore, killing at least 50 troops (with some sources saying the death toll exceeded one hundred).
According to Al-Masdar News journalist Ibrahim Joudeh, the chances of at least a small confrontation between the Syrian Army and US-backed forces – clarified as a ‘limited offensive’ by pro-government troops to recapture some oilfields – throughout the Euphrates valley region is quite likely in the weeks or months to come.
In cause of the escalation, the US-led coalition will carry out another series of heavy airstrikes similar to the ones conducted on February 7. However, some Syrian pro-government sources believe that the SAA may use air defense systems against US-led coalition warplanes in any future military confrontation.
Although of all of this tension, observers believe that the SAA and its allies will not risk to launch an attack against the US-led coalition now, as they are preparing for a more important battle around the Syrian capital, Damascus.