WED 14 - 11 - 2018
Nov 8, 2018
The Daily Star
US coalition kills 45 Daesh militants in northeast Syria
BEIRUT: At least 45 Daesh (ISIS) militants have been killed in northeast Syria since Monday despite a pause in the two-month Kurdish-led offensive, an activist group said Wednesday.
Airstrikes by U.S.-led coalition warplanes killed 28 militants, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, whilst Kurdish fighters have killed another 17. The Syrian government Monday accused coalition airstrikes of killing three children in Deir al-Zor province.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, spearheaded by the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG), last week announced a temporary pause in their operations in Syria's northeast after Turkish shelling killed four of their fighters. SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel said the Turkish attacks were preventing the alliance’s anti-Daesh fight but stressed that a pause in operations did not mean SDF fighters would not defend themselves.
The SDF launched its offensive against the Daesh enclave around the Euphrates valley town of Hajin on September 10, Daesh’s last remaining pocket of control in Syria, but suffered a major setback last month after a sandstorm allowed the militants to launch a series of counter attacks.
“What happened around Hajin is a tactical reverse” U.S. Syria envoy James Jeffrey told a group of reporters Wednesday via a teleconference. “It’s nothing serious. The Daesh, or ISIS, forces there basically are still surrounded and reinforcements are coming in.” He added that he was confident that they would see new advances once the weather improved and additional troops were introduced.
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