HASAKA (Kurdistan 24) – The US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have gained control of several strategic villages and farms from the Islamic State (IS) in eastern Syria near the border with Iraq.
In an online statement on Sunday, the SDF said they advanced in the southern countryside of Hasaka near the border with Iraq and gained control of three villages and seven farms in the outskirts of the strategic town of Dashisha.
“Our forces liberated the villages of Marjan, Kleib Tahtani, and Alkhwera in addition to seven farms,” the SDF statement read.
“Heavy clashes broke out in the village of Kleib leading to the death of many [IS] mercenaries and the targeting of motorcycles used by mercenaries in their movements,” it noted.
The SDF added that 46 IS militants were killed, including four commanders (Amirs/Princes).
Two of our fighters were wounded, and the military medical unit transferred them from the battlefield to receive treatment where their condition is now stable, the SDF statement said.
In a separate announcement, the SDF revealed the control of two other villages in the southern countryside of Hasaka.
The US-led coalition provided air and ground support, carrying out 21 air strikes, fortifying them with 47 heavy artillery and three surface-to-surface missile attacks, the SDF explained.
On the other front in Deir al-Zor Province, the Kurdish-led forces said they advanced several kilometers toward the strategic town of Hajeen, noting their movement was slower compared to the southern Hasaka front.
IS militants still hold two strategic towns in east Syria: Dashisha in southern Hasaka countryside and Hajeen in Deir al-Zor countryside.
Last month, the SDF announced it was relaunching efforts to clear the extremists from the few areas in Syria where they maintain a presence, including in the eastern oil-rich region of Deir al-Zor near the Iraqi border.
With the latest developments, the US-backed forces have severed IS supply lines from Iraq, leaving them with virtually no escape routes along the eastern bank of the Euphrates.
The eastern area of the Euphrates River, from Raqqa to Deir al-Zor, is a significant, strategic region for IS, its primary source of economic viability.
The area contains an abundance of gas and oilfields as well as power plants.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany