• Monday, 22 July 2024

Kurdish-led SDF and US-led Coalition Arrest ISIS Leader in Syria

Kurdish-led SDF and US-led Coalition Arrest ISIS Leader in Syria

In a significant blow to the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the United States-led coalition conducted a special operation on Friday, arresting a suspected ISIS leader in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zor. The operation took place in the town of al-Busayrah, a region known for ongoing ISIS activity, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based conflict monitor.

The detained individual is reported to be a leader of an ISIS cell responsible for orchestrating attacks on SDF-controlled areas. This arrest is part of a series of joint operations targeting ISIS cells along the banks of the Euphrates River. Just two days prior, the US-led coalition, with SDF support, carried out an airdrop operation in Hasaka province, resulting in the arrest of three individuals.

ISIS activity has surged recently, particularly in Syria's eastern desert regions, exploiting the security vacuum to launch attacks. This resurgence has raised alarms about the group's potential to regain strength. In a March testimony to Congress, General Michael Kurilla, commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), warned that ISIS could reconstitute its territorial control within two years if US troops were to withdraw, reflecting concerns outlined in the Pentagon's latest report on anti-ISIS operations.

ISIS initially rose to power in 2014, capturing large areas of Iraq and Syria and declaring a caliphate. Although territorially defeated in 2019, the group continues to pose a threat through guerrilla tactics, bombings, and abductions in both Syria and Iraq. The SDF, which controls the northeast Syrian region of Rojava, played a crucial role in the battle against ISIS, detaining thousands of ISIS fighters and their families when the group’s last stronghold in Syria fell in 2019.

Hundreds of US troops remain stationed in Syria as part of the international coalition fighting ISIS alongside the SDF, ensuring the continued pressure on the militant group and preventing its resurgence.