Alliance: ISIS remnants still present in the Syrian desert and valleys.
The US-led international coalition against ISIS continues to operate in Syria and Iraq despite nearly a year since the SDF announced the extremist organizations’ final elimination within Syrian territory after its defeat in neighboring Iraq three years ago.
An official in the international coalition led by Washington with the participation of Arab and Western countries confirmed that the alliance will continue to pursue the remnants of “ISIS” inside Iraqi and Syrian territories in cooperation with its local allies.
“ISIS has been defeated, but it is not over. We have discovered that it can carry out and finance its criminal and hostile activities,” said Miles Caggins, the international coalitions’ spokesperson.
He added from a military base in the Syrian town of Rumailan that “the organization members kidnapped people near the Iraqi city of Diyala, and we also saw them in Syria when they attacked some sheep herders in Deir Al-Zour and stole about 1,000 sheep, as they sometimes impose taxes other than Legal by their presence in some areas on the border between the two countries. “
He also revealed that “ISIS are hiding away from the centers of cities in Iraqi mountainous areas, in the valleys, and in areas of the Syrian Badia, but they sometimes approach villages and cities to secure their basic needs by stealing them from the villagers residing in the surrounding areas,” noting that “they are always striving to restore their control over Those lands as before, but they will not be able to.”
He explained that “ISIS is now unable to recruit more people in its ranks to use them to regain control of geographical areas, in addition to the pressure exerted on it by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Iraqi security forces, which prevent its spread again.”
And he added that “the terrorist organization suffered great losses among its fighters after the SDF managed to kill and arrest about 50 of its members. At the same time, the Iraqi forces carried out another operation in mountainous areas to search for the organization’s elements who were trapped on both sides of Syria and Iraq. “
He also pointed out that “this operation was carried out with air support from the international coalition to assist our partners in launching raids on ISIS operatives, pursuing them and being able to locate them”, stressing that “all operations that we carry out in Iraq are carried out in coordination with the security forces and with the approval of the government, where we cannot launch raids By air without the approval of our Iraqi allies.”
To that, he pointed out that “our military allies in Syria and Iraq and our coalition soldiers are working to protect each other, for example we cannot live in peace in this region without the security protection that our partners provide us, so we help them with training, so that the Syrian forces and Iraqi forces are fully prepared to confront ISIS, and these exercises are limited to how to collect and manage intelligence information, carry out military operations, and teach them how to deal with mines and others. “
He stressed that “our partnership succeeded with our allies and the operations carried out on the ground by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Iraqi forces came to protect the components of the region from Arabs and Kurds, Muslims, Christians and other nationalities, from ISIS terrorism. The success that we have achieved so far, was thanks to the commitment of the fighters for eliminating the organization. “
According to the spokesperson, the international coalition has succeeded in its mission by eliminating ISIS through cooperation and coordination for more than 5 years with their allies.
The extremist organization has controlled large areas of Syria and Iraq over the past years before the international coalition partners were able to regain control of more than 30,000 km in which millions of people lived in both countries.
He left behind many problems, most notably the former fighters held in the prisons of the SDF and their families residing in camps in its regions.
The speaker said in this regard that “the SDF is doing exceptional work with thousands of detained members of the organization who come from more than 50 countries.” He added that “the problem of these detainees is truly international and needs global efforts and the SDF is doing a lot of physical and material effort to implement This mission and to keep these fighters in prison. “
He added, “The international coalition is assisting the SDF with limited instructions to secure prisons and camps inhabited by the families of ISIS fighters.”
He also stressed that “the mission of the coalition is limited to areas located south of the border with Turkey, mainly within the provinces of Hassakeh and Deir Al-Zour, where we focus on the continuity of the operations of the SDF against ISIS and its financing, and this partnership will continue to fight the organization and protect oil installations.”