The meaning of ISIS stronghold Hajin
The liberation of the last ISIS stronghold Hajin is imminent.
The Jazira Storm offensive launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to liberate the settlements south of Hesekê and north of Deir ez-Zor from ISIS occupation has reached its final stage with the Hajin operation. SDF units have now moved to the town and from several locations have freed a large part of it.
History and location of Hajin
Hajin belongs to the administrative area of the al-Bukemal region and had 37,870 inhabitants according to an 2004 count.
The small town lies directly on the bank of the Euphrates and looks like a peninsula. Three sides are surrounded by water. The city of Deir ez-Zor is 110 kilometers away, al-Bukemal 35 kilometers. The town of Hajin has an area of 250 square kilometers.
Founded 265 years ago, the town is named after the Hajin camels bred in the area, known for their fast pace. Cotton, wheat and sugar beets are cultivated on the fields of the region. The population lives mainly on livestock and agriculture. Originally Hajin was a small village, only in 1963 were roads to Deir ez-Zor and al-Bukemal built. In 1983, Hajin became a town and got water pipes and telephone lines.
Hajin in the Syrian war
In 2013, the forces of the Syrian regime withdrew from the region and Hajin was occupied by the "Free Syrian Army". Young local men were recruited by the FSA as paid mercenaries. The FSA later left Hajin without a fight to the "Islamic State", who occupied the town and cruelly murdered the young FSA mercenaries.
The strategic meaning
The SDF launched their offensive on Hajin in September. The ISIS uses the geographical conditions of the region and has built its line of defense accordingly. Hajin is the last stronghold of the ISIS east of the Euphrates. There were many foreign Islamists in the town.
The SDF has received an appeal from the people of Hajin calling for the liberation offensive. The people denounced the cruelties of ISIS and expressed willingness to participate in the offensive. According to the appeal, the inhuman harassment in Hajin had intensified following the defeat of ISIS in Raqqa, with foreign Islamists playing the main role.
Victory over ISIS in northern and eastern Syria
With the international coalition against ISIS, the SDF has agreed that civilian security is the prime objective of the liberation offensive. With leaflets dropped from the air over Hajin, the population was told to stay away from ISIS bases before air strikes began.
The SDF have set up escape corridors and evacuated thousands of people. The fighting units continue to advance and free more people every day. The civilians are being cared for by civilian structures of the autonomous administration of northern and eastern Syria and are housed in a provisional reception center.
At the moment, it is only a matter of time until Hajin is completely liberated. Afterwards, the SDF forces will take action to ensure a safe return of the population. With the liberation of Hajin, the ISIS will have been expelled from all of northern and eastern Syria.