After months of a back-and-forth, where ISIS appeared to be hanging on by a few threads thanks to assistance from the US and Israel, some game changing progress has been achieved. The Syrian army took control of the last bastion of the ISIS terrorist group in the south of the country on Saturday, the country’s state television station said. FRN has confirmed these reports from several sources on the ground as well.
“The armed forces … were able to recover the territories that were in the hands of the terrorists, the control of the al-Safa hills was restored,” a military source told the Syrian TV channel.
During the operation by Syrian government forces, many terrorists were eliminated and the liberation of the surrounding areas is still ongoing.
In addition, another military source revealed to the SANA news agency that among the dead terrorists is one of the most important leaders of ISIS known as Hadir al-Shishani.
Despite the advance of Syrian Army troops, the US-led international coalition continues to operate in the country without the authorization of the Bashar Assad government. In recent alleged air strikes against ISIS, the United States and its allies killed more than 60 civilians, including women and children, in the province of Deir ez-Zor this week.
The US-led coalition has resorted to using cluster bombs in air strikes in al-Sha’afa and Hajin cities, SANA news agency quoted local media and civilians as saying.
According to the agency, earlier this week more than 60 civilians were killed or injured by an air strike by the US-led coalition in al-Sha’afa, in the province of Deir ez-Zor. In addition, an attack was carried out in the city of Hajin, which allegedly killed more than 15 civilians, mainly women and children.
Syrian media has accused the United States of conducting illegal attacks in the province of Deir ez-Zor in recent weeks. Last week, the SANA agency reported on the use of white phosphorous ammunition during the Hajin attacks. A coalition spokesman said reports of civilian deaths were “being investigated,” and that the coalition was taking “extraordinary steps to prevent civilian deaths” during its attacks on Daesh [ISIS] targets in the area.
The use of cluster bombs in civilian populated areas is prohibited by a number of conventions, including the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a treaty to which the US and Syria are not parties.