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Kurdish forces seize dozens of suspected IS members in Syria

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BEIRUT — U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters in northeastern Syria launched an operation Wednesday towards suspected Islamic State militants within the space in retaliation for an assault by the extremist group there final month, in line with an announcement.

Syrian Democratic Forces stated they raided “dozens of potential factors and hideouts” within the metropolis Raqqa — previously held by the Islamic State group — and the encircling space, and arrested dozens of suspected IS members. The U.S.-led coalition forces supplied air cowl and drone surveillance throughout the operation, the assertion added.

The operation was in response to an IS assault on Raqqa in late December that killed six members of the Kurdish-led forces. The SDF additionally introduced formation of a “joint operations room” backed by the worldwide coalition aimed toward focusing on IS cells.

The Kurdish-led forces in Syria commonly perform joint anti-IS patrols with the U.S.-led coalition . The patrols have been briefly halted late final yr when Turkey launched a marketing campaign of airstrikes towards Kurdish teams in Syria in retaliation for a lethal November explosion in Istanbul. Ankara blamed Kurdish teams for the assault, an allegation the teams deny.

The SDF stated that in line with its intelligence, IS “is making an attempt to reorganize the terrorist cells and appointing new leaders” in addition to “issuing directions to maneuver from particular person to group terrorist assaults on the prisons” holding IS members.

Greater than 42,400 overseas fighters and a few 23,200 Syrians accused of IS ties — and their households — are held in camps and prisons in northeastern Syria, in line with a Human Rights Watch report final month. The report detailed dire situations within the detention services and referred to as for repatriation of the detained overseas nationals — most of them girls and youngsters — by their nations.

Western nations have repatriated an growing variety of their residents from northeastern Syria, together with most just lately France, which returned a gaggle of 32 minors and 15 girls on Tuesday.

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