SOUTHWEST ASIA – Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve and the Syrian Democratic Forces continue to clear ISIS fighters, and liberate villages in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, Syria, Jan. 27 - Feb. 9, 2019.
Following the liberation of Al-Marashidah on Jan. 26, the SDF began clearance operations in the villages of Ash Shajalah and Al-Baghuz Fawqani; where the remaining ISIS fighters are retreating and hiding amongst the local population.
Furthermore, SDF members are detaining ISIS fighters who are attempting to escape among the civilians fleeing the fighting in the MERV.
"Amongst those arriving to be screened are the wives of ISIS fighters, some of whom sustained gunshot wounds while fleeing from ISIS," said U.K. Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, deputy commander-strategy and information for CJTF-OIR. "These utterly despicable and ghastly acts further illustrate their barbaric nature and desperation as ISIS struggles to hold onto their remaining territory."
The SDF will continue to support internally displaced persons, who have previously lived under ISIS influence in the region while they fight the final ISIS fighters in the MERV.
"While ISIS is on the verge of collapse, and the end of the physical caliphate is at hand it does not signal the end of this campaign," said Ghika. "ISIS continues to pose a threat to the security of the region, and we will pursue them until that threat is eliminated."
United international efforts against ISIS will prevent its ability to recruit, train, equip, finance, plan, inspire and conduct violent extremists acts, regionally and globally. The Coalition Forces, comprised of 74 partner nations and five international organizations, are deployed in support of CJTF-OIR, working by, with and through partner forces to bring about the enduring defeat of ISIS.