Hashd al-Shaabi claims it killed two senior IS members in Syria
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi forces on Wednesday claimed to have bombarded Islamic State (IS) targets near the Iraqi-Syrian border, reportedly killing two of the jihadist group’s leaders.
The shelling comes as Iraqi forces and the Hashd al-Shaabi entered a standby mode in the fight against IS after the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) temporarily withdrew from the border area following a surprise attack by the extremist organization.
In a statement on their website, the Hashd al-Shaabi said they had shelled IS targets in Baghoz, Deir al-Zor province, using artillery, and killed a leader in the organization by the name of Abu Abdullah al-Shami.
The strikes also resulted in the death of IS’ media office director, the statement claimed, without revealing neither the person’s identity nor any further details.
On Sep. 11, the SDF and the US-led international coalition announced the start of their operation to take the last remaining IS-held town of Hajin in eastern Syria, located along the banks of the Euphrates River, in addition to the surrounding villages of Baghoz, Sousah, and Shafa’.
Later in the month, the US allies took control of Baghoz and Sousah. However, on Friday and taking advantage of a sandstorm, IS launched a counteroffensive against SDF positions in the two towns, east of the Euphrates River.
“Dozens of our comrades’ bodies laid dead in Sousah, and many others were kidnapped by Da’esh,” an SDF fighter told Kurdistan 24 on condition of anonymity, using the Arabic acronym for IS.
Editing by Nadia Riva