US-backed forces in Syria capture top ISIS financial officer

The People’s Protection Units (YPG) Counter-Terrorist Forces on Sunday captured a so-called Islamic State financial officer during an operation in Syria.

The operation took place in the ash-Shahil area in Syria’s Deir al-Zor region after a long period of observation and surveillance, a statement from the YPG informed.

The offensive was carried out with support from the US-led coalition, it added, naming the captured as Mohammed Remedan Eyd al-Talah, the chief financial officer of the terror group.

“A number of weapons, armament, and organizational documents, as well as stacks of money, was seized during the operation.”

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the YPG make a majority, recently carried out several operations in the Deir al-Zor region, including near Baghouz on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Elsewhere, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and the news website Deirezzor24 reported that the SDF also arrested the uncle of the former Governor of Wilayat al-Khayr, Mikhlif al-Rafdan, and his son Yasser al-Rafdan in Al-Kasra town in the western countryside of Deir al-Zor on Saturday.

Wilayat al-Khayr, the former Syria-Iraq border province of the so-called Islamic State caliphate, was primarily made up of the city Deir al-Zor and its countryside. Coalition airstrikes in the past killed the former Islamic State governor of al-Khayr.

Despite the SDF and the US-led coalition announcing the defeat of the so-called Islamic State caliphate on March 23, the terror group’s sleeper cell attacks persist in areas the SDF liberated.

Moreover, the YPG said on Sunday that its forces continue to carry out raids and operations against the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

“The raids and operations that have been carried out in the region until now, have seen a large number of terrorists been arrested, and many attacks have been foiled before being carried out.”

According to the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), the Islamic State has activated insurgency cells in areas the SDF controlled and “used these cells to conduct attacks in northeastern Syria and other areas of the MERV [Middle Euphrates River Valley],” a recent Pentagon Watchdog report said.

It also said the Islamic State carried out attacks mainly in Raqqa, Hasakah, and Deir al-Zor provinces.

The US-led coalition recently stated that the SDF have arrested over 225 suspected militants in the last four months.

The official Twitter account of the Special Operations Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (SOJTF-OIR), the special operations arm of the US-led coalition that operates in both Iraq and Syria, tweeted on Sunday that SDF forces are persistent in the mission to defeat the Islamic State.

“The SDF, an adaptable and reliable partner with #SOJTF, are the military reach of @CJTFOIR into Syria,” the account tweeted.

“Da’esh is hiding,” US Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, SOJTF-OIR commander, said using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “And our partners are staying after them.”

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