US-backed SDF repel Islamic State attacks, kill 50 in eastern Syria
DEIR AL-ZOR (Kurdistan 24) – At least 50 Islamic State (IS) militants were killed in clashes with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the last pocket of Hajin, in eastern Syria, near the border with Iraq, an SDF source said on Friday.
The SDF source who talked to Kurdistan 24 on condition of anonymity said heavy clashes erupted around a military base in Tanak oilfield, 35 kilometers east of Deir al-Zor city, when IS militants launched a counterattack on SDF-held areas from Hajin.
“Our comrades, backed by US-led coalition airstrikes, killed more than 50 Daesh jihadists who sent three car bombs two days ago. Part of our fighters withdrew, and the other supporting group clashed with the jihadists until fighter jets started their bombardments,” the Syrian Kurd security said.
The strikes went on for “a whole night,” and on Thursday morning, “heavy clashes erupted in foggy weather, the heaviest clashes since the beginning of the operation two months ago.”
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that SDF sent military reinforcements of about 300 fighters on Thursday to the Tanak oilfield and that the total number of SDF fighters assigned to the base has reached 650.
Additionally, a US-led coalition convoy of 11 vehicles and two military artillery trucks reached the front lines with IS militants, where the use of car bombs have been targeting SDF positions.
On Friday, the US-led coalition carried out bombardments on IS groups attempting to break into Tanak oilfield.
The SDF has not yet reported their number of casualties in the clashes.
The Tanak oilfield was liberated from IS by the SDF in November last year and is currently being used as a joint military base for the SDF and the US-led coalition.
Editing by Nadia Riva