After launching the Jazira Storm Operation, the Syrian Democratic Forces have been able to strengthen their grip on ISIS pockets in the southern Hasakah countryside and around the town of Dashisha on the Iraqi-Syrian border.
A statement from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Media Centre has revealed the progress of Operation Jazira Storm in the past week against ISIS militants in the south of Hasakah Province and eastern Deir ez-Zour Province, northeastern Syria.
The statement disclosed that the SDF has advanced 9 kilometres on the eastern front and 13 kilometres on the western front, capturing as many as 12 villages and 15 farms from ISIS, as well as a number of hills. In addition, coalition aircraft have conducted 34 airstrikes, inflicting numerous heavy casualties on the militants.
“The operation is continuing and the liberation of civilians is a priority for the forces leading the campaign,” said Laila Abdullah, Spokesperson for Operation Jazira Storm. “The campaign is being carried out on two fronts, the east and west and SDF fighters have advanced great distances.”
The SDF has opened a number of evacuation corridors to enable the escape of civilians from ISIS in the areas where heavy clashes are taking place between the two sides. According to Abdullah, a large number of civilians have already fled ISIS territory using the evacuation corridors. Civilians in northeastern Syria have often been used by ISIS as human shields to impede the advance of the SDF.
The recent advance against ISIS has come just over a month after the resumption of Operation Jazira Storm, which was suspended for two months due to the SDF redeploying many of its troops to Afrin to defend the city against the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and Syrian National Army (SNA)-led Operation Olive Branch.
Since the resumption of Operation Jazira Storm, the SDF has been working closely with the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and the Iraqi Air Force, who seek to eliminate the remaining ISIS presence on the Iraqi border.
The Iraqi Air Force has carried out a number of airstrikes against ISIS in Syrian territory and last month conducted a successful arrest operation on the Syria-Iraq border against five senior members of the militant group. On the Iraqi side of the border, the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) have fortified the Nineveh and Anbar borderlands to prevent any further incursions by the militants in Syria, who are known to be supporting and coordinating the small-scale insurgency ISIS is waging in Iraq following its defeat last year.