Islamic State fighters are shown in an image captured from an Islamic State video posted on the Internet.
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ERBIL – The Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group has lost large territories in Syria and Iraq over the past few weeks, especially after the U.S.-led coalition forces stepped up airstrikes on the group’s key positions.
Local sources confirmed that ISIS manpower has clearly decreased, particularly in the Syrian eastern province of Deir ez-Zor. The group has been pushing its security forces, which usually operate inside the city, into the battlefields to back their fellow militants in the forefronts.
Speaking to ARA News in Deir ez-Zor, media activist Saray ed-Din said that the security situation has obviously worsened in the province of Deir ez-Zor, especially with the battles getting closer to the northern border of the province.
Due to the heavy losses in the group’s ranks following painful blows by the U.S.-led coalition forces, ISIS started to launch arbitrary arrest campaigns against civilians in Deir ez-Zor, “forcing hundreds of people to join the fighting, in a bid to compensate the unprecedented shortage in its manpower”, according to ed-Din.
Also, local activists stressed that the terror group has arrested last week dozens of civilians in the province under the pretext of “spying” for the coalition and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG)ــwhich declared on Thursday, along with several Arab and Christian groups, a federal system northern Syria.
Ed-Din pointed out that ISIS militants stormed Wednesday midnight civilian houses in the town of Baqras, claiming they use the internet service illegally and many of them spy for the western-backed forces.
“Amid the mounting loss of fighters, Daesh [ISIS] has been depending on the Islamic police forces and the Hisba members inside Deir ez-Zor to participate in the battles,” a local sources told ARA News, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“This is to back their fellows fighting the Kurds on the borders between Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor in an attempt to prevent further advance of the Kurds and their SDF allies,” he said.
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yousef
Source: ARA News