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US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces And Iraqi Army May Launch Joint Anti-ISIS Operation In Syria

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US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces And Iraqi Army May Launch Joint Anti-ISIS Operation In Syria

Iraqi security forces advancing Thursday towards the town of Faysh Khabur, which is located on the Turkish and Syrian borders in the Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region.

On April 4, co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Movement for a Democratic Society Aldar Xelil told Reuters that the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Iraqi Army may launch a join military operation against the remaining ISIS fighters on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

“Iraq is a neighboring state and is also suffering from Daesh [ISIS] terrorism … Daesh is present in the shared area between us, and this points to the possibility of conditions arising that would pave the way for joint actions against Daesh,” Xelil told Reuters during a phone call.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi revealed on April 2 that the Iraqi Army has plans to launch a military operation against ISIS inside Syria. However, Abadi didn’t mention that the SDF may participate in the supposed operation.

ISIS controls over 150km of the Syrian Iraqi-border east and southeast of the Syrian city of al-Shaddadah, according to Syrian sources. Hundreds of ISIS fighters and commanders are still situated there, possibly including ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Local observers doubt that the Iraqi Army could launch a joint operation with the SDF as such a step could upset Damascus, Ankara and Tehran – all of them considers the group illegitimate. However, an anti-ISIS operation inside Syria by the Iraqi Army only, is highly possible.

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