SDF renews determination to impose ISIS’ enduring defeat on the anniversary of Baghouz victory

The battle of Baghouz holds immense significance as it marked the final chapter in the fight to eliminate the so-called “ISIS State”. It was only through the selfless sacrifice of the SDF fighters that this victory was achieved.

The General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) released a statement marking the fourth anniversary of the elimination of ISIS in its last stronghold, Baghouz.

The SDF statement published on Thursday includes the following:

“Today, March 23, marks the fourth anniversary of the elimination of the terrorist organization “ISIS” in its last stronghold in the town of “Al-Baghouz”. This historic event was created by the unwavering resistance of our Syrian Democratic Forces and our North-East Syria people, with the invaluable support of the international coalition forces. The defeat of this terrorist organization brought much-needed relief to our people and the world, as it removed the greatest threat to their lives and future.

On this momentous occasion, we honor and pay tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the cause of victory. We also express our deep appreciation for the heroic fighters who showed unwavering bravery on the frontlines, and for our people who stood by their military and security forces in every step of the struggle against the terrorist organization, contributing to this remarkable victory.

The resistance put up by our forces against the terrorist organization “ISIS” was nothing short of remarkable, particularly in “Al-Baghouz”, where the terrorist organization had deployed its entire military might and strongest terrorist elements to fight back, knowing that this was its last and decisive battle. To save itself from the inevitable outcome, the terrorist organization resorted to the most heinous forms of terrorism, including using innocent civilians as human shields.

Despite this, our forces conducted themselves with the utmost morality and humanity, adhering to the laws of war and the rules of engagement in accordance with international laws and norms. Our forces provided numerous opportunities for the terrorist organization to release the civilians and surrender themselves. Ceasefires were declared on several occasions, after which civilian convoys were allowed to pass through to our forces. As a result of these efforts, thousands of members of the terrorist organization ultimately surrendered to our forces.

The battle of Baghouz holds immense significance as it marked the final chapter in the fight to eliminate the so-called “ISIS State”. It was only through the selfless sacrifice of our fighters that this victory was achieved.

The geographical and military defeat of the terrorist organization in “Al-Baghouz” undoubtedly saved the lives of millions of people in our regions and around the world from the ongoing threats of ISIS. Our forces fought on behalf of the entire world, carrying out a humanitarian mission that culminated with victory. This was particularly important given that ISIS had transformed into a ruthless killing machine, destroying everything in its path and turning every area it controlled into a blood-soaked environment, depriving people of their means of life.

The terrorist organization continues to pose an imminent threat to our regions and the world, primarily through its network of terrorist cells. Its objective is to rebuild its crumbling organization, revive its aspirations, regain control over certain territories, and threaten the lives of the local population. Recent attacks launched by these cells on Al-Hol camp, the city of Raqqa, and the al-Sina’a prison in al-Hasaka city underscore the continuing danger it poses.

This calls for even greater cooperation from the international community, particularly the international coalition forces. There needs to be an increase in military support and security coordination that is commensurate with the level of the terrorist threat. We must work together to cut off the organization’s sources of funding and drain the enabling environment.

Our forces have demonstrated exceptional combat performance in all battles against the terrorist organization, proving their effectiveness and merit in achieving victory. The world recognizes this fact, and we reiterate that the enduring defeat of ISIS requires collective efforts by the international community.

A crucial aspect in this regard is the resolution of the issue of ISIS detainees held in NE Syria prisons. Each country must take responsibility for its nationals, as some countries have yet to prioritize this issue which forms a burden placed on our forces and the Autonomous Administration, particularly in terms of security. Additionally, the families of detained members gathered in camps present a potential time bomb that could explode at any moment, as evidenced by last summer’s surge in killings and escape attempts.

We believe that the establishment of an international tribunal in our regions and the submission of these elements to it can mitigate their danger and impact the activity of their cells both domestically and abroad.

On this occasion, we emphasize the importance of the international community playing an active role in pressuring regional countries that support ISIS and enable it to reorganize and spread. The Turkish occupying State is a prime example, as the Turkish-occupied areas have become safe havens for ISIS terrorist cells and leaders, from Afrin and Idlib to al-Bab, Jarablus, Sari Kani/Ras al-Ain, and Tal Abyad. Our forces have been able to publish confessions of senior members and leaders of the terrorist organization, who confirmed receiving instructions, directives, and support from these areas. The killing of all its leaders in the occupied areas confirms Turkey’s involvement in restoring the organization’s spirit. And this would hinder our efforts to eliminate its sleeper cells and negate the influence of its extremist ideology.

The international community needs to increase its support in the reconstruction of the areas affected by terrorism, by intensifying its efforts in the fields of health, infrastructure building, education, and other areas in all regions of NE Syria. Such action will contribute to the acceleration of the lasting elimination of terrorist organizations.

Once again, we express our congratulations to our martyrs and all the people of the region from all components on the victory achieved in Al-Baghouz. We call on everyone to continue their efforts to combat the cells of the terrorist organization and uproot its ideology so that the world can be rid of the evils of terrorism. Peace and security can prevail in our regions and the world.”