SDF pleads for International Coalition support to counter Islamic State activity

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stated that the so-called Islamic State still poses a threat to its controlled areas in northeast Syria and to the world, as it seeks to rebuild itself through its sleeper cells and attempts to revive its dreams of regaining geographic control over certain areas.

In a statement released today, Saturday, March 23, the SDF added that bombings and assassinations targeting civilians in service roles, administrative workers, and those who oppose the ideology of the Islamic State organization are still ongoing.

The SDF also noted that its operations continue both military and security-wise to dismantle these cells and arrest their members.

It stated that the complete eradication of the Islamic State in its controlled areas requires “dismantling its fertile ideological grounds,” pointing out that it tries to recruit new members in an attempt to join its ranks.

Furthermore, the SDF said, “We urge all nations to cooperate effectively with our forces, especially those within the International Coalition. Their ongoing support is vital in this continued struggle. Beyond military efforts, reconstruction is crucial. We call for an extensive international participation in restoring the public infrastructure destroyed by terrorism.”

In its statement, the SDF attributed the ongoing attacks of the Islamic State organization to Turkish attacks, considering them to provide “all means for the rebuilding of Islamic State ranks and become more dangerous,” indicating that the organization receives support from Turkey.

While the SDF calls on the International Coalition states to contribute to the reconstruction of the areas that were under Islamic State control, the city of al-Baghouz, which is considered the last stronghold of the organization in Syria, suffers from deteriorating services. The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), which is the political umbrella for the SDF, has not taken any steps to improve the service or living conditions for five years.

Al-Baghouz, like the villages and towns of eastern Deir Ezzor countryside, is still littered with mines left from battles, posing a danger to the lives of civilians, while the SDF is unresponsive to the residents’ calls for clearing the remnants of war.

Cells of the Islamic State have been increasingly active in SDF-controlled areas since the beginning of this year.

On Friday, the Islamic State issued a statistical report that included its operations in Syria during the past week, which consisted of nine operations, one in areas under the control of the Syrian regime, and eight other operations were executed in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, where the SDF is centered.

At the beginning of 2023, the American Counter-Extremism Project released a study that monitored the disparity of the organization’s operations in Syria and Iraq, comparing them to previous years.

During 2022, the Islamic State killed more than 147 soldiers and 31 civilians, and its operations resulted in more than 136 people injured in central Syria, according to the study.

The study indicated that the losses caused by the Islamic State organization’s operations in 2022 represent about 47% of the total losses caused by its operations in 2021.

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