The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the complete defeat of ISIS in Syria on March 23 after capturing the last terrorist group’s territory in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.
“Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and %100 territorial defeat of ISIS. On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible,” Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the SDF, wrote on Twitter.
The SDF’s final battle against ISIS in the Euphrates Valley lasted for more than six months. In the course of the battle, thousands of ISIS fighters were killed or surrendered to US-backed forces.
A day earlier, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters that acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan briefed President Donald Trump and told him that ISIS no longer holds any territory in Syria. Sanders’ remarks were seen as the first official announcement of ISIS’ defeat.
While the U.S. and its proxies in Syria are claiming that ISIS no longer has any territory in Syria, local sources insist that the terrorist group is holding more than 4,000km2 in the Homs desert. The US-led coalition can’t reach the area, which is besieged by Damascus government forces.
The upcoming few months will likely be marked a large-scale operation against the last ISIS stronghold in the Homs desert led by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Russian and Iranian forces. Only after reclaiming that territory, the terrorist group can be declared defeated across entire Syria.