ISIS Suffers Heavy Syria Losses
Xeber24.net – Asharq Al_ Awsat
At least 65 ISIS militants have been killed around their last enclave in Syria despite a pause in a two-month Kurdish-led assault, a monitor said Wednesday.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announced a pause in its offensive in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor last week in protest at Turkish shelling of Kurdish positions along Syria’s northern border.
But waves of US-led air strikes since Monday have killed 48 militants, including during two ISIS assaults on oilfields north of the Hajin enclave, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
On Tuesday the militants launched an assault on the Azrak oil field, followed by an attack Wednesday on the Tanak oil field where US-backed SDF fighters are based, it said.
A coalition spokesman did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The SDF killed another 17 ISIS extremists while defending a base in the village of Al-Bahra just outside ISIS-held territory on Monday, the Britain-based monitoring group said.
Alliance spokesman Kino Gabriel had stressed that the pause in offensive operations did not mean SDF fighters would not defend themselves.
The SDF launched its assault on the ISIS enclave around the Euphrates valley town of Hajin on September 10.
But after making slow progress, it suffered a major setback last month when ISIS used cover provided by sand storms to launch a series of counter-attacks.
By the end of the month, the militants had recaptured all of the territory the SDF had won.