Conflict

Deir ez-Zour Military Council clear ISIS cells in the province's outskirts

Syria

The SDF-affiliated Deir ez-Zour Military Council is nearing the complete extermination of ISIS elements in the east of Syria.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir ez-Zour, eastern Syria, have announced further territorial gains and arrests made against ISIS militants as part of the ongoing Operation Jazira Storm.

A recent arrest campaign conducted by the SDF-affiliated Deir ez-Zour Military Council led to the capture of a number of ISIS cells that had been operating in Syria’s eastern countryside. The arrest campaign, which was carried out in the towns of Markada, Kasrah and al-Busayrah, also led to further territorial gains for the SDF.

The SDF were prompted to carry out the arrest operation following a series of attacks made against its fighters and against civilians. ISIS cells regularly drove cars and motorcycles laden with explosives into SDF-held areas or placed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on road sides.

In addition to preventing further attacks by the ISIS cells, the SDF also seized a large quantity of weapons and equipment for manufacturing bombs, as well as communication devices for coordinating attacks with other cells operating nearby.

The SDF resumed Operation Jazira Storm in May this year to eliminate the presence of ISIS along the Syria-Iraq border in the provinces of Deir ez-Zour and Hasakah. The SDF has so far made a number of territorial gains in the northern section of the ISIS borderlands pocket. A statement released by the SDF Media Centre last month revealed that 12 villages and 15 farms, as well as a total of 22 kilometres of countryside, had been captured from the militant group in the first month of the final stage of the operation.

The SDF-led operation is being carried out with the assistance of the Iraqi Air Force, which has conducted a number of airstrikes against the militant group in the region following a number of cross-border incursions and terror attacks by Syria-based militants. Moreover, the Iraqi Air Force are working to interrupt ISIS supply lines to insurgents operating within Iraq.