US-Backed SDF Forces Lead Deadly Operation in Eastern Syria | News from the Kurds
US-backed Kurdish forces claim the operation in Deir Az Zor targeted ISIS fighters, but SANA news agency claims civilians were killed in a raid.
Kurdish special forces backed by the US military killed five suspected fighters during an airborne operation in Deir Az Zor province in eastern Syria, according to Kurdish forces.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters that controls the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northeastern Syria, said in a statement on Monday that the raid had taken place. near the village of al-Busaira.
With the support of the US-led coalition, the raid targeted a hideout used by “a dangerous cell of the terrorist group” ISIL (ISIS), the SDF said in a statement. The ISIL group, which captured large swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, ended as a territorial unit in 2019 with the help of an international military coalition.
The SDF said shootings ensued and resulted in the deaths of five ISIS operatives, most of whom were wearing explosive belts.
“Today, the SDF carried out an operation in Deir Ezzor governorate by withdrawing four Daesh fighters from the battlefield and carrying out controlled destruction of explosives. This operation strengthens continued efforts to ensure safety and security in the region, ”the US-led coalition said on Twitter, referring to ISIL by its Arabic acronym Daesh.
“Kidnapped a number of civilians”
The Syrian News Agency (SANA) said earlier that US forces had “abducted a number of civilians” from a “large airborne operation” near Deir Az Zor at dawn Monday.
The state agency said US troops fired “indiscriminately” at homes, killing three civilians who were all family members.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war observer with a large network of sources across Syria, said at least four people were killed.
The dead were members of the same family, two of whom were shot dead by helicopter as they tried to escape on motorcycles, Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.
Al-Busaira is a village located on the banks of the Euphrates, between the two main towns of Deir Az Zor and Mayadeen, in the middle of the original heart of ISIS.
ISIL continued to carry out attacks, launching frequent lightning raids from hiding places in the desert on either side of the border with Iraq.