On January 5, ISIS fighters withdrew from their positions in the town of al-Shaafah in the middle Euphrates River Valley, which allowed the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to impose control of the districts of al-Razazah, al-T’as, al-Ramtha, Marzuq, al-Sur and Hawi al-Sur inside the town, according to local sources.
Despite the ISIS withdrawal, the SDF is yet to enter the southern part of al-Shaafah and the areas of al-Muh and al-Basatin around the town. US-backed forces are likely working to secure the liberated areas as for now.
The SDF press center didn’t confirm these claims in its daily press release. However, it revealed that US-led coalition warplanes conducted 129 airstrikes on positions, vehicles and gatherings of ISIS forces in the Euphrates Valley. As a result of the airstrikes and the clashes on the ground, more than 71 fighters of ISIS were killed.
According to a new report of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), ISIS has lost about 1,063 fighters since the beginning of the final battle in the Euphrates Valley. Hundreds of other fighters fled to the SDF-held area leaving behind few hundreds to defend the remaining terrorist group positions on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.