On June 6, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) concluded the first phase of its large security operation against ISIS cells in northeast Syria.
The first phase of the operation covered the southern al-Hasakah countryside. According to the Hawar News Agency (ANHA), a 70 km long, 60 km wide area was combed by the SDF in the last two days. A total of 30 ISIS terrorists were apprehended.
Backed by units of the U.S.-led coalition, SDF forces are now combing the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside. ISIS cells are known to be highly-active in the region. So far, three terrorists have been captured.
Sasson Toledhan, a commander of the SDF, told the ANHA a day earlier that the operation is facing some challenges now. However, he stressed the at the operation will go on.
“There are some difficulties facing the campaign, which are the vast size of the desert … in addition to the fact that the desert is connected from one of its sides to the Iraqi border, which may allow some elements of ISIS mercenaries to flee across the border,” the agency quoted Toledhan as saying.
ISIS cells carried out dozens of attacks against the SDF in the last few months. Most of the attacks took place in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside.
The ongoing security operation has forced ISIS cells in northeast to lay down for the moment. However, many of these cells could resume their activities once the operation is over. The SDF and the U.S.-led coalition will have to keep high pressure on the terrorist group.