DAMASCUS -- Al-Masdar News has obtained exclusive information regarding rare clashes between the Russian-backed Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the western countryside of Raqqa.
Three days ago, the two armies opened fire on one another and blasted each other's rearguard positions with artillery shells around the frontline town of Al-Mushayrifah, located directly west of Tabqa city.
The firefights took place after ISIS rapidly withdrew from around 20 villages on the southern bank of Lake Assad, prompting both the SAA and SDF to move in on the abandoned area in a moment of opportunism.
With the SAA's Tiger Forces quickly seizing all the villages, clashes erupted with the SDF which resulted in the destruction of 2 Kurdish technicals and 3 SAA vehicles.
Although skirmishes have largely halted in western Raqqa since then, the increased tensions pose a threat to a SAA garrison stationed across Kurdish-held Manbij in Aleppo province.
In addition, new clashes are likely to ignite with both the SAA and SDF racing across ISIS-held territory in Raqqa province.