Security

SDF nab ISIS elements, cells in Deir Ezzor raids

By Waleed Abu al-Khair in Cairo

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A detainee arrested by the Syrian Democratic Forces in Deir Ezzor is seen here with weapons found in his possession and documents that confirm his affiliation with ISIS. [Photo courtesy of Deir Ezzor Media Centre]

In recent days Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), with ground and air support from the international coalition, have carried out several targeted operations against "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) elements and cells.

During the raids, security forces arrested 30 extremists, among them those who had carried out attacks and were planning others, said SDF officer Farhad Khoja.

The pre-emptive security operations were carried out in Dhiban in eastern rural Deir Ezzor, al-Sour in northern rural Deir Ezzor, and the southern al-Hasakeh towns of al-Dashisha and al-Madina, he told Diyaruna.

Weapons, ammunition and explosive materials were found in the possession of those arrested, he said, along with various documents.

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Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces conduct a raid in Deir Ezzor in search of ISIS elements. [Photo courtesy of Syrian Democratic Forces]

"These confirmed their involvement in assassinations, in the planting of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and in planning new attacks," he said.

Since ISIS was ousted from the territory it once controlled, ISIS elements and sleeper cells have sought to keep tension simmering between civilians and to foment tension between the local population and the SDF, Khoja said.

"But civilians in the region are aware of this strategy," he said, "and have been forthcoming in providing information about any suspicious matter to the SDF."

The information they provided has enabled the security forces to conduct the recent operations, he said.

Another raid carried out a few days ago in al-Susah area of eastern rural Deir Ezzor led to the arrest of a number of Iraqi and Syrian extremists, Khoja said.

The SDF are now setting up security checkpoints to help them detect any security threat and check ID documents, with an emphasis on motorcycles.

These vehicles have become the preferred means of transport for ISIS remnants in the regions of al-Hasakeh and Deir Ezzor, Khoja said.

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