Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces searching evacuated ISIS security checkpoint in Shaddadi, northeastern Syria. Photo: ARA News
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HASAKAH – At least five Kurdish YPG fighters were killed and 20 more wounded in the explosion of land-mines that had been planted by militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) before their departure from Shaddadi city in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province, military sources reported on Tuesday.
Backed by a western air cover, Kurdish-Arab alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have expelled ISIS jihadi fighters from Shaddadi in mid-February.
Since then, specialized teams from the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG)–leading member in the SDF– have been searching for and dismantling land-mines and explosive devices left behind by ISIS militants.
Speaking to ARA News in Shaddadi, a YPG spokesman said: “On Tuesday evening, several land-mines exploded while our special teams were trying to dismantle them in the southern suburb of Shaddadi city.”
“The incident led to the immediate death of five of our forces and the injury of more than 20 others, some of them are in critical conditions,” the official said.
The SDF, which includes Kurdish, Arab and Christian units, had earlier liberated more than 240 towns and villages from ISIS militants on the border with Iraq.
Recapturing Shaddadi –ISIS main bastion in Hasakah province– came after the SDF units cut off a main supply route for the ISIS radical group near Syria’s northeastern border with Iraq.
Furthermore, the SDF alliance had seized control of a key gas facility and main financial resource for the Islamic State (ISIS) radical group in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province in February. The western-backed forces regained control of the Jibisa gas facility, located about 12km east of Shaddadi city in southern Hasakah.
Reporting by: Qehreman Miste
Source: ARA News