On December 22, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that its fighters repelled an attack by ISIS on their positions in the village of al-Jurdi Sharqi on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in southeastern Deir Ezzor. SDF fighters killed 21 fighters of ISIS and destroyed an armed vehicle while repelling the attack, according to the SDF.
From its side, the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq announced that ISIS fighters attacked several positions of the SDF around the village of Abu Hamam 5km south of al-Jurdi. ISIS fighters also shelled the SDF positions with mortars during the attack, according to Amaq.
The SDF revealed on December 21 that 10 Tunisian, and Iraqi fighters of ISIS surrendered themselves and their families to the SDF near the al-Tanak oil field in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside.
10عناصر من تنظيم داعش من جنسيات عراقية وتونسية، يسلمون أنفسهم مع عوائلهم لـقوات سوريا الديمقراطية يوم أمس قرب حقل التنك النفطي شرقي #ديرالزور
— قوات سوريا من الجبهة (@QSD_Jabha) December 22, 2017
The SDF didn’t capture any strategic position from ISIS in the last few weeks. Due to this fact, many Syrian pro-government activists believe that the SDF is now working to “absorb” the remaining fighters near the Syrian-Iraqi border, instead of eliminating them.
The Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria warned on December 16, that the US-led coalition is using a refugee camp in al-Hasakah governorate as a base for training former members of ISIS, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly al-Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and other radical groups.