Syrian Defence Forces track ISIS terrorists in caves
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: syria;
A US-backed force said Tuesday it was chasing ISIS militants in eastern Syria, as coalition warplanes pound the extremists more than a week after their so-called “caliphate” was declared defeated.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by warplanes of a US-led coalition, dislodged ISIS militants from their last redoubt in the village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border on March 23, following a months-long offensive.
The US-backed alliance is now “tracking down remnants of the terrorist group”, SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali said on Tuesday.
“There are groups hiding in caves overlooking Baghouz,” he said.
The US-led coalition said it was supporting sweeping operations with air strikes on militant hideouts.
“The Syrian Democratic Forces continues to deny ISIS a physical space and influence in the area and work to deny them the resources they need to return,” coalition spokesman Scott Rawlinson told AFP on Monday.
“In support of back-clearance operations, the coalition continues to conduct precision strike support in coordination with SDF,” he said.
The official said anti-ISIS operations are now focusing on “eroding” the group’s “capacity to regenerate and collaborate”.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said that more than a dozen coalition air strikes have targeted ISIS hideouts in Baghouz since Sunday.
Strikes hit caves and farmlands in the village where holdout militants are believed to be hiding, it said.
ISIS fighters also retain a presence in Syria’s vast Badia desert and various other hideouts, and have continued to claim deadly attacks in SDF-held territory.
Last week, ISIS killed seven US-backed fighters in an attack on a checkpoint in the northern city of Manbij, which is controlled by a local council linked to the SDF.
The Observatory on Tuesday said that nine suspected militants were captured in the former ISIS bastion of Raqqa since Sunday.
The SDF has warned that a new phase has begun in anti-ISIS operations, following the defeat of the militant proto-state.