DEIR EZ-ZOR, Syria / ANKARA, Turkey (AA) – Ongoing clashes between the YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups over Syria's eastern oil-rich Deir ez-Zor province entered their 50th consecutive day on Tuesday, according to local sources.
Since Sept. 11, the two groups have been trading blows, especially in Deir ez-Zor’s rural Hajin district, which is located in the east of the province.
Local sources told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that some 6,000 YPG/PKK terrorists had continued to attack Daesh positions with a view to wresting control of the towns of Hajin, Siife and Suse, along with the villages of Abu Hassan and Abu Hatir.
Roughly 150 YPG/PKK terrorists have been killed in the clashes so far, local sources said.
Despite receiving support from both the U.S. and France, the YPG/PKK has consistently failed to register any gains, with the group only holding positions briefly before being forced to retreat in the face of fierce counter-attacks by Daesh.
Local sources say Daesh is successfully exploiting the region’s adverse weather conditions, while also carrying out frequent attacks on YPG/PKK positions — often with the use of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED).
Daesh recently carried out a deadly VBIED attack on Deir ez-Zor’s YPG/PKK-held Al-Omar Oilfield, leaving dozens of YPG/PKK militants dead.
Some 400 YPG/PKK fighters recently fled the ongoing clashes near the Al-Omar district, roughly 150 of whom were later captured by Daesh and taken to prison facilities in the towns of Al-Omar and Ziban.
Some local observers have noted that the ongoing clashes and frequent VBIED attacks now pose a potential threat to U.S. troops deployed at the Al-Omar Oilfield.
Backed by the U.S. and France, the YPG/PKK currently occupies Deir ez-Zor's eastern and western rural areas on the east bank of the Euphrates River.
Since Sept. 11, the YPG/PKK — with U.S. air cover and French artillery support — has struggled to dislodge Daesh from Deir ez-Zor.
While the YPG/PKK seized the town of Bagoz on Sept. 27, Daesh remains in control of Hajin, Siife and Suse, along with the villages of Abu Hassan and Abu Hatir.
Assad regime forces, meanwhile, remain in firm control of Deir ez-Zor’s western districts.
According to the latest estimates, the YPG/PKK currently holds about 28 percent of Syrian territory.
Daesh, for its part, still maintains an active presence in three parts of Syria, accounting for roughly 3.3 percent of the country’s total territory.
*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this story from Ankara