On February 28, ISIS fighters conducted a hit and run attack on several positions of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) northeast of the village of al-Shaafah in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside, near the Syrian-Iraqi border.
According to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq, ISIS fighters burned three positions of the SDF, killed thirteen SDF fighters and captured four others. Moreover, ISIS fighters destroyed a bulldozer of the US-backed forces around al-Shaafah with an ATGM.
Meanwhile, an official twitter account of the SDF reported that US-led coalition warplanes had destroyed positions of ISIS in the al-Melh oil well near al-Shaafah as well as in al-Bukhater. “Many” ISIS fighters were killed in the two airstrikes, according to the source.
From its side, Amaq claimed that thirty civilians, mainly women and children, had been killed in an airstrike of the US-led coalition, which had targeted an area west of al-Shaafah. Syrian opposition activists supported ISIS’ claims.
The US-led coalition airstrikes indicate that al-Shaafah is the next target of the SDF. If the SDF captures this village, ISIS will likely be forced to withdraw from its last stronghold on the eastern bank of the Euphrates valley, the town of Hajin – located 15km north of al-Shaafah.