SOUTHWEST ASIA —
Syrian Democratic Forces have initiated ground operations for phase two of Operation Roundup to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria remnants in northeastern Syria, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials announced today.
The SDF ground offensive, aimed at clearing Dashisha, is bolstered by coordinated coalition cross-border air and artillery strikes, and strikes by the Iraqi air force and army artillery positioned near the border.
Iraqi security forces have also enhanced their border presence to prevent the escape of ISIS members from Syria into Iraq.
Operation Roundup began May 1, and the successful first phase ended with the clearance of Baghuz, Syria, May 15.
“This is a well-coordinated, powerful offensive to annihilate ISIS remnants in northeastern Syria,” said Army Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve. “Our partners are aggressively taking the fight to what’s left of ISIS’s conventional force, which has been demoralized by military losses and its leadership’s abandonment of the terrorists they left on the front lines.”
Coalition strikes supporting Roundup in May exceeded April’s strike total by 123 percent, and March’s strike total by 304 percent. Ongoing strikes are targeting ISIS command-and-control centers, weapons production and storage facilities, safe houses and facilitation sites.
Coalition and Iraqi forces are also targeting ISIS tunnel complexes and underground storage sites, Funk said.
The multi-ethnic Syrian Democratic Forces remain committed to liberating the people of northeastern Syria from ISIS’s control and putting an end to the human suffering in the area, officials said.
CJTF-OIR remains committed to the destruction of ISIS and setting the conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability, officials said.