This report originally published at defense.gov.
SOUTHWEST ASIA —
The coalition affirms its support and confidence in the Syrian Democratic Forces as they commence operations to clear the final Islamic State of Iraq and Syria territories in northeastern Syria, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials said today.
In a statement, task force officials said that during a news conference, officials confirmed the SDF will return to offensive operations against ISIS in the middle Euphrates River valley.
“ISIS retains a significant presence near the Iraqi borders from which it seeks to retain safe haven to plan attacks around the world and expand its territory in Syria and Iraq,” said Leilwa Abdullah, spokesperson of the al-Jazeera Storm campaign and Ahmad Abu Khawlah, commander of the Dayr Az Zawr Military Council. “Over the coming weeks, our heroic forces will liberate these areas, secure the Iraq-Syria border, and end the presence of ISIS in eastern Syria once and for all.”
The SDF’s focus on ISIS is critical to achieving the lasting defeat of the criminal terrorist organization that continues to pose a threat to all nations, coalition officials said in the statement.
“We continue to stand alongside our partners and ensure the liberation of all terrain held by ISIS terrorists,” said Army Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, commanding general of Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve. “This is a key milestone in bringing lasting stability to both Iraq and Syria.”
Since 2016, coalition forces have worked by, with and through SDF partners to reclaim territory from ISIS in Syria, OIR officials said. Despite considerable losses, they added, ISIS retains capabilities to plan and coordinate attacks against the region and coalition homelands.
Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, representing 71 nations and four international organizations, is committed to the defeat of ISIS in designated areas in Iraq and Syria and to setting the conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability, officials said.
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