On February 1, nine fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were killed after they had been targeted with several IEDs planted by ISIS around the town of Gharanij in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq. The source also reported that ISIS fighters targeted several positions of the US-backed forces around Gharanij with 73mm rocket-propelled grenades.
Amaq also announced that ISIS fighters attacked a key position of the SDF northeast of the village of Abu Hassan, which is located 15km south of Gharanij. During their attack ISIS fighters burned the position, according to the source.
ISIS fighters also targeted a position of the US-backed forces in al-Bahrah north of Abu Hassan with an ATGM. According to Amaq, an SDF fighter was killed and another was injured in the ATGM attack.
From its side, the Royal Netherlands Air Force operating within the US-led coalition announced that it F-16 fighters jets conducted six airstrikes on ISIS positions, headquarters and ammo depots on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River between January 24 and 30.
Observers noted that the SDF and the US-led coalition have slowed down their anti-ISIS operations in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside since the beginning of the Turkish Army military operation against the Kurdish forces in the Afrin area on January 20. This could mean that the SDF is currently more concerned about countering the Turkish attack than eliminating ISIS.
Photos of ISIS attack northeast of Abu Hassan village: