The Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish ally to the United States led coalition forces, have put into place restriction for motorcycle use in Deir ez-Zor. The restrictions come during Eid, a holiday that follows the fasting period known as Ramadan. The Eid celebrations have cause security forces to fear of possible suicide attacks or ambushes by motorcycle riding terrorists. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that motorcycle use will be banned until the holiday is over. All the recent motorcycle attacks are believed to have been perpetrated by Islamic State loyalists.

The SDF has been engaged with Islamic State militants for control of the Deir ez-Zor region for the past few months now. Recently in the eastern reaches, ISIS militants have been using motorcycles to carry out attacks of their forces. Three soldiers manning a checkpoint were killed over the weekend when an Islamic State fighter rode up to them and detonated an IED (improvised explosive device) concealed on his person. A hand full of civilians were injured as well. Prior to that, two SDF fighters were killed by a motorcycle suicide bomber on a main road. Three more were killed at a different checkpoint when eight ISIS militants attacked their checkpoint using motorcycles for mobility.

The Islamic State only has two areas of control remaining in the Deir ez-Zor region, the SDF partnered with Iraqi Security Forces are fighting them nonstop in an effort to expel them completely. The SDF and ISF carried out a large-scale operation against the Islamic State in the al-Dashisha section of Hasaka several weeks ago. The territory is all located on the border of Iraq, for this reason Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi agreed to send ISF troops to reinforce the SDF in their fight. According to the SDF, their forces have recently advanced 13 kilometers to the West and another nine to the East, regarding their held territory in the region.

Featured image: Riding a motorcycle, wearing a combat vest and carrying an AK-47 is becoming the classic image of rebels in Syria. By Freedom House [CC BY-SA 2.0]

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