Dozens of young men join western-backed SDF to fight ISIS northeast Syria

Kurdish members of the Syrian Democratic Forces arrive in the liberated town of al-Hawl in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

HASAKAH – After liberating the city of Shaddadi in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province from the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS), western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have recruited dozens of young men in Shaddadi in the past few days, local sources reported on Friday. 

The SDF units include Kurdish, Arab and Christian fighters –mainly supported by the United States in the war on ISIS. 

The SDF military campaign in northeastern Syria aims to control the entire countryside of Hasakah province, especially after recapturing key areas from ISIS, including Shaddadi and the town of al-Hawl on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

“The SDF forces have recruited over 200 people from Shaddadi to join the fight against ISIS militants,” rights activist Hamoud al-Hussein told ARA News in Shaddadi.

“Most of the new SDF recruits are from the Arab component who are familiar with the geography of the region,” al-Hussein stressed. “Also, they have relatives and family members in the ISIS-held villages around Shaddadi.”

People of Shaddadi have lost contact with their relatives in the surrounding ISIS-held villages due to a blockade imposed by the extremist group. 

“We are determined to liberate our villages and people from Daesh (ISIS),” one of the new SDF members said, speaking to ARA News on condition of anonymity. 

The SDF had announced last February its control over Shaddadi; however, sporadic clashes continued between their fighters and ISIS sleeper cells which has used car bombs to hit the SDF ranks.

More than 275 ISIS militants were killed and 33 ISIS vehicles were destroyed at the hands of the SDF fighters in the battle for Shaddadi, according to the SDF leadership.

“Our operations will continue until we regain the entire region from ISIS,” the SDF leadership said in a statement.

Reporting by: Qehreman Miste

Source: ARA News

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