The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched Tuesday a new military operation to combat militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the countryside of Syria’s northern Aleppo province, military sources reported.
The western-backed SDF fighters bombed ISIS positions near the town of Marea in Aleppo province and was able to expel the group from a number of villages.
“The SDF troops captured the villages of Um al-Haush, Um al-Qura, Harbal and Qarrah on Tuesday afternoon after forcing ISIS militants to withdraw under heavy artillery bombardment,” SDF official Zaidoun Hedo told ARA News in Aleppo.
At least 13 ISIS militants were killed and five ISIS vehicles were destroyed under the SDF bombardment.
The new anti-ISIS operation comes just two weeks after the Syrian Democratic Forces expelled the radical group from the city of Manbij–a former jihadi border pocket.
Tuesday’s ground operation by the SDF was coupled with airstrikes by the US-led coalition on ISIS headquarters in the vicinity of Marea town, according to the SDF leadership.
In the meantime, clashes continued between the Kurdish-led SDF forces and Turkey-backed rebel groups in the countryside of Jarablus after the Turkish army entered the city of Jarablus and vowed to hit the SDF if the it didn’t withdraw from the area on the Syrian-Turkish border.