The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have initiated ground operations to eliminate the last ISIS-held pocket in the Euphrates Valley, a US-led coalition spokesman stated on September 11. He added that the advance will be backed up by artillery and air strikes by the coalition.
Syrian Democratic Forces initiated ground operations for phase 3 of Operation Roundup. It will be supported by #Coalition cross-border air & artillery strikes to #defeatISIS remnants from northeastern Syria, along the Middle Euphrates River Valley toward the Syria-Iraq border.
— OIR Spokesman (@OIRSpox) 11 September 2018
The ISIS-held village of Hajin and the nearby villages in the Euphrates Valley are now the last ISIS major stronghold in Syria. An intersting fact is that it’s located on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, which the coalition has delcared its zone of responsibility and has fiercely defended this striking Syrian Army units attempting to advance into it.
Thus, the SDF’s inability or unwillingness to eliminate the Hajin pocket has been repeatedly described as attempts to keep the ISIS threat in Syria to justify the US military presence there.