SDF Takes Control of Broad Area Near Iraqi Border With Help From PM

Alexander Falconer | 3 June, 2018

The militant faction Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has taken control of a broad area along the Syrian-Iraqi border in Deir Ezzor Governorate from ISIS, while receiving cooperation from Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) brigades.

The commander of the SDF-allied Deir Ezzor Military Council, Khalil Wahash al-Nimr, said in comments to the press that the SDF had "advanced in coordination with Iraqi forces and taken control of the village of al-Baghouz al-Tahtani" as well as other towns along the Syrian-Iraqi border. 

He added that "ISIS has become surrounded in a 30 km area between Hajin town, al-Sousa municipality, and the villages of al-Baghouz al-Fuqani and al-Buhasan in eastern Deir Ezzor Governorate. 

In a related development, clashes were ongoing at dawn on 3 June between the SDF and ISIS in Hajin town, while airstrikes from the international anti-ISIS coalition targeted the group's positions in the area.

On 12 May PMF brigades had entered two kilometres into Syrian territory to participate in the campaign to encircle and take control of al-Baghouz village from ISIS.

On 1 May, the SDF and Deir Ezzor Military Council had announced the beginning of the final phase of the "Jazira Storm" operation to combat ISIS fighters in the area. 

Media outlets last month reported the formation of a joint operations room between the SDF and PMF factions in southern Hasaka Governorate near the Syrian-Iraqi border. This formation aimed to launch attacks on ISIS positions in the border regions of Tel Shayer, Baaj, and Tel Safouk. 

Translated By: Alexander Falconer