Syrian rebels launch major offensive on ISIS held-city near Iraqi border

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Syrian rebel fighters on the front lines with the Islamic State in the northern Aleppo countryside. File photo: Mohammed al-Khatieb

ARA News

DAMASCUS – Syrian rebels on Tuesday launched a major offensive against militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) in al-Bukamal city in the eastern Deir ez-Zor province.

The western-backed New Syrian Army bombed ISIS positions in al-Bukamal city near the border with Iraq.

“This new operation is aimed at recapturing al-Bukamal and cutting off a main supply line for ISIS between Iraq and Syria,” a spokesman for the New Syrian Army told ARA News on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official confirmed that several rebel factions took part in the operation led by the New Syrian Army, adding that opening this new frontline against ISIS could help accelerating the progress made by other rebel groups against the group in Syria. 

This comes as the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continued their military operations against the Islamic State in northern Syria, especially at the battlefront of Manbij pocket on the border with Turkey. 

Military sources reported that the rebel fighters have entered the administrative borders of al-Bukamal and took over a number of ISIS positions there on Tuesday midnight. ARA News could not verify the number of casualties in the clashes. 

The New Syrian Army was formed some 18 months ago from rebel fighters driven out of eastern Syria by ISIS as it expanded its territories in mid-2014 following the capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi

Source: ARA News 

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