ISIS just had its main supply route from Iraq to Syria seized by Kurdish forces with the aid of U.S.-led coalition warplanes. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) overran the ISIS-held town of Umm Madfah in the Hasakah province in northern Syria near the Iraqi border. This was the main supply route for ISIS militants between their de facto capital of Raqqa and the southern countryside of Hasakah province, as noted by Talal Silo, an official spokesperson for SDF who went on to say,
“By retaking Umm Madfah, our fighters were able to block the ISIS supply line between Raqqa and Hasakah. Also, the movement of the terrorists was paralyzed after this victory by our forces in northern Syria.”
The SDF, who is comprised of Kurdish, Arab, and Christian forces, have liberated over 240 towns from ISIS control on the Syrian-Iraqi border as well as seized control of a strategic Jibisa gas facility that ISIS relied on for financial support for over two years in order to fund its operations.
Under ISIS control, the Jibisa gas facility was producing 5,000 gas cylinders a day to sell on the black market and local sources state that ISIS coordinated with the Syrian regime to sell the gas whilst Syrians worked at the plant. According to ARA News,
‘Jibisa gas facility is considered one of the main gas facilities in northern Syria for its huge production that has been feeding power stations in central Syria. The facility was run by some 500 workers, including specialized engineers, technicians and workers.’
One of the first rules of warfare is to cut off the supply line and ISIS just got handed a crushing blow to its main logistical line by SDF forces (provided the SDF can maintain control of it and the town of Umm Madfah) and this area can expect ISIS to go back on the offensive to try and regain control at some point in the future.
On a related topic, Hasakah province is where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sent his one of his female fighters to take command of an all female fighting unit. When ISIS goes on the offensive for control of Umm Madfah, there’s a high probability that female ISIS fighters will be among the casualties as well as their male counterparts.
Will ISIS be able to regain control of their main supply route or is this the beginning of the end for the terrorist group? What should the Kurds/allies do to ensure it won’t fall back into ISIS’ hands? Sound off in the comments below!