Syrian Democratic Forces to extend anti-ISIS operations


Kurdish fighters of the YPG taking part in the SDF operations against ISIS in northeastern Syria. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

HASAKAH – The Kurdish-Arab joint alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) regained swaths of territories in the eastern countryside of Hasakah, northeastern Syria, from the terror group of Islamic State (ISIS) after weeks of fierce battles, SDF top commanders told ARA News. 

“We are determined to liberate every single town and village from the ISIS barbaric group in Syria.” 

Remarks of the SDF top commanders came on the sidelines of a press conference in the recently liberated town of al-Hawl.

Speaking to ARA News, official spokesman of the SDF, Colonel Talal Silo, said: “The liberation of al-Hawl from ISIS comes in the framework of our campaign to cleanse the entire southern countryside of Hasakah from the barbaric group.”

“We will soon liberate the entire province of Hasakah from ISIS terrorists,” he added.

On October 30, the joint forces launched a military campaign that aims to expel ISIS extremist militants from the Hasakah province.

Between October 30 and November 13, the Kurdish-Arab alliance of SDF liberated an area of 1,362 square kilometers, which includes some 200 villages and towns, among them the strategic town of al-Hawl on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The recent military operations in Hasakah province resulted in the death of 493 ISIS militants, 33 SDF fighters and four civilians, according to Silo.

The joint troops have also sized hundreds of weapons and a large deal of ammunition in the two-week operations against ISIS in northeastern Syria.

Al-Hawl, which is located some 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Hasakah, holds a strategic location for being a key access to the Iraqi territory, Silo concluded. “After losing al-Hawl, ISIS’s military and economic situation may deteriorate due to the cut of a main supply route between the group’s strongholds in Syria and Iraq.”

Recapturing al-Hawl came hours after the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraqi Kurdistan took control of Shingal (Sinjar) district in Nineveh province after fierce battles with ISIS. In August 2014, ISIS launched a massive offensive on Shingal, causing a mass displacement of tens of thousands of Yezidi civilians and the captivity of thousands of women.

Speaking to ARA News, Sheikh Bandar Deham al-Hadi, commander of the Arab force al-Sanadeed, which takes part in the SDF operations, said: “Within two weeks, ISIS was harshly defeated by our SDF forces in the key town of al-Hawl and major areas of the southern countryside of Hasakah province.”

Al-Hadi pointed out that their troops launched an attack from four sides on al-Hawl, regaining the villages of al-Mahra, Oum Hijera and al-Khatooniya, as well as the Tishrin oilfield. 

“Our fighters are heading to the ISIS-held Shaddadi city and the rest of the occupied areas in Hasakah province,” he added.

“Al-Sanadeed joined the SDF with more than 1700 fighters, deploying them on the frontlines and backlines of the battles. Despite the wide geographical area of the fighting fronts, these joint forces were able to expel ISIS terrorists within less than two weeks,” al-Hadi told ARA News.

He pointed out that their battles with ISIS are fateful, and they will continue hitting ISIS strongholds on the whole the Syrian soil, adding “ISIS is different from the Syrian people ideologically and religiously.”

“This terror gangs came to ‘distort the religion of Islam’, the SDF will continue combatting its odd mentality,” he explained, adding “we promised our people in Syria to eradicate this barbaric group.”

Noteworthy, the United States has delivered a second batch of ammunition to fighters of the Kurdish-Arab alliance battling the extremist group in northern Syria, a U.S. official reported earlier this week.

The Syrian Democratic Forces announced two weeks ago the start of its military campaign for regaining control of the ISIS-held areas in the province of Hasakah. The SDF includes Kurdish forces of the YPG and YPJ, the Syriac Military Council, the Arab tribal group of al-Sanadeed, al-Jazeera brigades, Jaish al-Thuwar group and Burkan al-Furat battalion.

Reporting by: Ahmad Shiwesh and Ahmad Osman

Source: ARA News

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