US-backed fighters expel Daesh from eastern Syria bastion


BEIRUT: A US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance on Sunday ousted the Daesh from a bastion in northeastern Syria near the Iraqi border, it said.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by US-led coalition air power, have been battling to expel the extremists from the last villages they hold in eastern Syria.

“The SDF were able on Sunday to liberate Dashisha village” in the northeastern province of Hasakah, the alliance said in a statement.
SDF fighters “are now just three kilometers (1.8 miles) from the Syrian-Iraqi border,” it said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said fighting for the village since Saturday had killed 30 extremists.
Dashisha was an important Daesh bastion on a corridor linking extremist-held territory in Syria and Iraq, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

On Saturday, the Kurdish-Arab alliance seized the nearby village of Tal Al-Shair from the extremists, according to the Observatory.
Daesh fighters swept across large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, declaring a so-called “caliphate” in areas they controlled.

But the extremists have since lost much of that territory to various offensives — in Syria to Russia-backed regime forces and to the SDF.

In early May, the SDF announced the final phase of its operation against the extremists to expel them from their holdouts in Hasakah and along the Euphrates River in the adjacent province of Deir Ezzor.

A senior Iraqi official said last month Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was still alive and moving between extremist-held areas in both provinces with a small group of followers.

In September, an US military chief said the extremist leader was still alive and probably hiding in eastern Syria’s Euphrates Valley.
Syria’s war has evolved into a complex conflict involving extremists and world powers since it started in 2011 with a vicious crackdown on anti-government protests.

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