SDF deals heavy blow on ISIS in northeast of Syria
As ISIS continues to attack using sand storms as cover in a last ditch attempt, SDF commanders say the operation launched to end ISIS in the northeast of Syria proceeds as planned.
The operation launched on September 10 by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against Hajin, the last area ISIS gangs control in eastern Syria, continues.
Fighters have been advancing in the Hajin and Baghouz fronts as part of the Operation Cizire Storm’s final phase to end terrorism and have liberated the Baghouz, Secle and Mozan villages from gangs. An operation to liberate the Al-Sousse village was launched 3 days ago, and control has been achieved in much of the village already.
GANGS ATTACK AS SOON AS SAND STORM HITS
The operation against the last locations ISIS has positions in the north of the Euphrates River along the Syrian-Iraqi border continues in two fronts, Baghouz near the Iraqi border and Hajin to the northwest. The operation has continued for six weeks and, especially in the last 10 days, has seen many extensive attempts at attacks by gangs using the cover of sand storms. But despite the attacks and intense clashes, SDF fighters are continuing their advance in the region.
As the area is the last one that ISIS holds, it is host to ISIS members from various Syrian and Iraqi provinces. The number of gang members in the area which stretches some 35 km along the Euphrates, 8 to 10 km deep was estimated as 3.000 in the beginning of the operation.
MAJORITY OF CIVILIANS FORCED TO MIGRATE
The gangs, coming in from Iraq and Syria, have stockpiled heavy weapons in great numbers in the area and covered many irrigation canals to create passageways. The gangs attack on days with sand storms in particular, and have intensified their attacks in the last 3 days. They attempt to achieve results through explosive laden vehicles in extensive attacks that they launch simultaneously in several locations.
A majority of civilians have fled the area under gang control and gang members from around the world who have gained experience in desert warfare have settled in the homes they evacuated.
OPERATION CONTINUES AS PLANNED
SDF commanders say the operation continues as planned and on schedule, despite widespread clashes for short bursts especially on days with sand storms. The operation continues cautiously due to the possibility of gangs using civilians as human shields.
ISIS gangs had “declared the caliphate” after they took over Mosul in 2014, and “declared a state” after they spread throughout Syria and invaded Raqqa. With the liberation of Hajin, ISIS gangs will be cleared from the northern arc of the Euphrates River that they have had under occupation since 2014.