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ISIS Close to Losing Last Pockets in East Syria

ISIS fighters are close to losing their small pockets in east Syria after being besieged in the two provinces of Hasaka and Deir Ezzor, particularly in areas located east of the Euphrates River.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by Italian, French and US forces, advanced in the southern al-Hasaka governorate near the last ISIS pocket close at the Syrian-Iraqi border.

They managed in two weeks to capture some 20 villages in the area. Activists spoke of displacement of residents under ISIS control as the military operations intensified.

“Clashes renewed between SDF fighters, backed by International Coalition warplanes against the last remaining ISIS pocket in the east bank of Euphrates River,” the SDF said.

Violent battles erupted on the outskirts of Hajin town where ISIS militants attacked SDF positions.

Director of the Center for Kurdish Studies, Nawwaf Khalil told Asharq Al-Awsat that ISIS is close to losing two main pockets: the first is the town of Hajin in Deir Ezzor and the second is the strategic town of Dashisha in Hasaka near the Iraqi border.

“SDF forces are only few kilometers away from those two towns,” Khalil said.

He documented the significant presence of French fighters in those battles and said SDF forces were now focusing on the post-battles phase and the need to offer some assistance to residents in ISIS-controlled areas, in addition to the rehabilitation of the infrastructure.

“What is more important is to prevent Iran and the Syrian regime from entering this area, which was liberated by blood,” Khalil said, adding that Washington was currently working in this direction.

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat

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