SDF completes anti-ISIS operation
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Thursday announced the end of its latest military operation against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Raqqa city, adding that 127 suspects were arrested in the one-week-long campaign.
The US-allied force launched a large-scale operation against ISIS in the terror group’s former stronghold of Raqqa in retaliation to a deadly ISIS attack on the SDF late last year. The campaign was code-named “Operation Retaliation for Raqqa Martyrs” and the global coalition against ISIS provided aerial support.
“During the sweep and raid operations, the forces arrested 127 wanted terrorists and suspects, including Atallah Al-Methan, the Wali (governor) of the so-called Wilayah al-Raqqa,” said the Kurdish force in a statement.
“Many weapons, ammunition, and booklets on ISIS extremist ideology were also seized, in addition to uncovering old tunnels used by ISIS terrorists when they were controlling Raqqa city,” it added.
A deadly ISIS attack targeted SDF positions in the terror group’s former stronghold of Raqqa, now controlled by the SDF, on December 26, killing at least six fighters of the Kurdish force and injuring many others.
ISIS swept through vast swathes of Syrian land in 2014 but it was declared devoid of territorial control after the SDF overran its last bastion in Baghouz in 2019.
The US army said in a statement on Thursday that the coalition forces and SDF conducted 43 anti-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria last month.
“These operations degraded ISIS and removed multiple senior ISIS militants from the battlefield, including the Emir of Raqqa and a Syrian provincial media and security operative. These successful operations are part of the mission to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS,” it said.
“While our efforts have degraded ISIS, the group’s vile ideology remains uncontained and unconstrained,” Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) was cited in the statement. “ISIS continues to represent a threat to not only Iraq and Syria, but to the stability and security of the region. Therefore, we must continue the fight against ISIS alongside our partners.”
CENTCOM said that 11 ISIS operatives were killed and 227 suspects were detained in January.