The large-scale ISIS attack on positions of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the area of Hajin in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor has triggered a serious concern among Iraqi military leadership. While the SDF continues to claim that the situation in the area remains under full control, the real situation seems to be quite different. Since the start of the ISIS advance last weekend, the terrorist group has captured at least some of the SDF positions there.
The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) released an official statement saying that the PMU is mobilizing its troops and sending reinforcements to the border with Syria. The PMU move is designed to prevent ISIS terrorists attacking the SDF from entering Iraqi territory.
According to some reports, ISIS units have laready captured some former SDF positions near the border. However, clashes are now ongoing there. In the worst-case scenario, the ISIS attack may once again destabilizt the Syrian-Iraqi border area for some period.
The Hajin pocket has for a long time been the ISIS only major stronghold in Syria. The US-led coalition and its “partners” from the SDF were not hurrying to deal with this threat because the ISIS presence in Syria provides for the US a formal justification to keep forces in the war-torn country. However, now it seems that this approach may have caused some problems for the US proxies.
The analysis “Popular Mobilization Units: Military Capabilities, Their Role In Iraq and Middle East” was originally released on August 27, 2017: