The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

ISIS loses its largest remaining enclave in Syria with an area of about 1700 km² for the Coalition and SDF loses its direct contact with the Iraqi territory

The “Islamic state” organization swings between the western and eastern Euphrates, and between the desert of al-Suwaidaa and the Syrian Jazeerah, while the “Islamic state” takes its breath and washes away the blood of about 260 people, more than half of them were civilians killed in the heaviest attack and the largest bloody operation in al-Suwaidaa Province since the start of the Syrian revolution in 2011, the last members of ISIS continue to run in the Syrian Jazeera, looking for any place they can hide in from the sweep process of the Syria Democratic Forces for the largest enclave of the “Islamic State” organization in what is left to it in the Syrian territory, where the reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the Syria Democratic Forces have started a sweep process for the entire enclave extending from the southern administrative borders of al-Hasaka province; until the end of the enclave which is located in the area near the east of al-Baghuz town, where the border line runs along about 85 km from the Syrian-Iraqi border within an area about 1670 km² of Deir Ezzor Province, where the international Coalition-backed Syria Democratic Forces managed to control the entire enclave after a military operation launched on the area in the past few days, except for scattered enclaves where members of the organization has been besieged in, within the attempts to force them to surrender or continue clashing against them until the presence of the organization is completely terminated, after it lost its presence as a dominant force in the area.

This advancement operation by the Syria Democratic Forces made the “Islamic State” organization loose its largest remaining enclave in the entire Syrian territory, where now it has only got the enclave located at the east bank of Euphrates River, which includes several towns and villages starting from Hajin town in the west to al-Baghuz town in the east, and scattered enclaves in the desert of Deir Ezzor and west of Euphrates River, and in 2 large enclaves east and north of al-Sokhna, and in enclaves in the northeastern desert of al-Suwaidaa on the administrative border with Rif Dimashq, which shrank its controlled area to 3705 km² of the Syrian area i.e. 2% of it, while this loss for the organization comes after Jaysh Khalid Ibn al-Walid which swore allegiance to the “Islamic State” organization lost its existence in the entire Daraa Province, which made the organization shrinks and loses more of its controlled areas and members, who are decreasing consecutively as a result of aerial bombardments, artillery and missile shelling, and the military operations.

This military operation came after the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the arrival of large military reinforcements in the area of members, equipment, machines, and armored vehicles, to begin the process of controlling the enclave in the Desert of Deir Ezzor on the Syrian border with Iraq, to terminate the external contact of the organization and besiege it in the Syrian interior completely, also it came after stopping the control operation of the enclave of the “Islamic State” organization located at the east bank of Euphrates River, which consists of the towns of Hajin, al-Sousah, al-Shafa, and al-Baghuz and transferring the operation to the desert, also it was followed by the termination of ISIS presence by the Syria Democratic Forces at the end of June 2018, as dominant force in al-Hasaka Province, where the Syrian Observatory published back then that the the Syria Democratic Forces have completed their military operations in Al-Hasakah province, and managed to impose their control over the entire enclave used to be controlled by the “Islamic State” organization in the southern sector of the province, ending the presence of the organization completely as a dominating organization over Al-Hasakah province, where sweeping operation are being carried out to dismantle the landmines planted by the organization before its full withdrawal from the area, due to the violent offensive which started in early June 2018, and as a result of the shelling accompanied it as well as the International Coalition’s strikes, where US, French and Italian forces as well as forces of western countries, participated side by side with the SDF in the operation against the organization in the south of Al-Hasakah.

The reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that a batch of the forces which were located in the southern countryside of Al-Hasakah, headed towards ISIS last enclave at the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, while the rest of the forces which are located in the area, are getting ready to depart to the same destination, to start a wide-scale military operation aiming to end the presence of the organization in its last enclave at the Euphrates’ eastern bank, where it is expected that a wide-scale military operation accompanied by Coalition’s ground and aerial support, will start against the organization with finishing the preparations in the coming 2 days.

And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also published in the middle of July 2018 that a large military column of the International Coalition’s forces, moved and became close to the Syrian – Iraqi border, where it stationed in an area near Al-Baghuz town which is located in at the eastern banks of the Euphrates River, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored accelerated military preparations by the International Coalition’s forces along with bringing vehicles, equipment, reinforcements, missile platforms, reaching the helicopters which accompany these reinforcements, at the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, while confusion still surrounds the reasons for bringing these large amounts of weapons and equipment which are greater than the needs for taking the control of a small enclave that includes a number of villages and towns in a small geographical area, and these reinforcements are coincided with ongoing clashes between the Syria Democratic Forces and the International Coalition against the members of the “Islamic State” organization, in the vicinity of Hajin area which frequently witnesses operations by the Coalition and the SDF, and exchange of targeting in the clash areas between the both parties.

Link for a high-resolution map shows the decrees in influence of the “Islamic State” organization and its control within the Syrian territory for the benefit of the Coalition and the Syria Democratic Forces