On December 16, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that its fighters have captured the village of al-Jurdi on the eastern bank of the Euphrates in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside. 16 fighters of ISIS were killed and 2 others were captured during the clashes in al-Jurdi, according to the SDF.
From its side, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq only reported that ISIS snipers killed a fighter of the SDF during the clashes in al-Judi on December 16. This confirms that the village is now under the SDF control.
ISIS fighters were besieged in a small pocket that includes al-Jurdi village and few areas around it north of the town of Hajin. Only now after securing al-Jurdi, the SDF can begin its advance towards Hajin.
Syrian local sources reported that US-led coalition warplanes already began targeting ISIS positions in Hajin and around it. Over 5 civilians including women were killed in the US-led coalition airstrikes on Hajin and the areas north of it in the last 48 hours, according to the sources.
The Hajin town battle will likely be difficult because most of ISIS fighters who had withdrew from the city of Raqqa and the northern part of Euphrates Valley are now stationed there.