The R+6 are rapidly clearing up the thinly manned IS remnants east of Khanassar in the pocket formed when the road from Ithriya to Rasafa was secured a few days ago. This process will make the main government supply road to Aleppo City much more secure although there is still a menace lurking in AQ jihadi occupied Idlib Province to the west. According to the CIA public relations man David Ignatius (just back from Syria) the Russians have put a lot of effort into defining the line of contact between the US backed SDF forces around Raqqa and the SAA who are well ensconced south of that line and obviously looking SE toward the isolated fortress town of deir al zor 80-90 miles away across the hardpan stony desert of eastern Syria.
There are several desert tracks and roads leading SE in the direction of deir al-zor from the present positions of the SAA at the leading edge of the newly captured area between Ithriya and Rasafa. IMO the SAA are likely to choose a line of advance that originates closer rather than farther from Ithriya town because sch a route would greatly shorten the supply LOC for the grouping of motorized and mechanized forces likely to be employed for the main thrust to deir al-zor. These forces will likely include the ubiquitous Tiger Forces under Suheil Hassan.
IS forces are in bad shape having lost many men and pieces of equipment in the fighting at Mosul and around Raqqa. Surviving fighters have moved to the SE to join the fight around deir-al-zor evidently hoping to take the town and re-establish a governing capital to replace Raqqa. They are constantly harassed by air attacks and are much weakened,
R+6 forces in SE Syria as well as the US coalition supported forces around al-tanf are exerting a strong containing effect on IS fighters, fixing them in position and unable to to move north to resist the coming SAA drive to deir-al-zor from te Ithriya area.
This forecast of R+6 future operations is merely my opinion. Others may well have a different opinion. pl