Last week, Kurdish-led forces in Syria defeated ISIS in a battle over the terrorist organization’s last stronghold. The victory ends ISIS’s territorial hold, but the battle is ongoing as remnants of the group’s army faces Iranian backed militias in the country’s south. Sune Engel Rasmussen reports for The Wall Street Journal:
The SDF released videos of its fighters Saturday hoisting the group’s signature yellow flag on buildings peppered with bullet holes in Baghouz, Islamic State’s last output. Pictures of the SDF’s female fighters hung on either side of the text under the group’s banners.
On Saturday afternoon, the SDF gathered for a victory ceremony at the nearby al-Omar oil field, where a march band clad in orange interspersed victory speeches with military tunes, and about 100 fighters lined up, fronted by a row of female soldiers.
From the stage, William Roebuck, the deputy special envoy to the coalition, expressed his gratitude to the SDF: “We honor their bravery and also the bravery and sacrifices of the Iraqi security forces in their fight against ISIS next door.”
Even as Islamic State has lost the towns and villages it once controlled, what are believed to be several thousand of its fighters are still active in the desert south of the provincial capital, also known as Deir Ezzour, where they are battling Iranian-backed militias. And it has reverted to insurgent tactics.
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