The Kurdish comprised Syrian Democratic Forces are considering conducting joint anti-terror operations with Iraqi military forces in Syria. The Islamic State is supposedly reemerging around the Euphrates River valley that runs the two countries shared border. The Islamic State is also beginning to use sleeper cell based insurgency tactics to strike at security forces with increasing frequency. Aldar Khalil, who is the executive body co-president for the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), told press that, “Daesh is present in the shared area between us, and this points to the possibility of conditions arising that would pave the way for joint actions against Daesh.”
Khalil expressed that TEV-DEM believes the Islamic States seized the opportunity for growth when SDF forces were reallocated in Afrin’s defense during the initial Turkish incursion this year. He said, “After Afrin, Daesh has revived and has started to expand in the region, and has benefited a lot from the vacuum. This is a danger we are thinking about, and we are trying to find the appropriate means to take measures against the expansion of Daesh.”
The Syrian Democratic Forces control a large swath of Syria’s northeastern region currently, part of this territory shares a border with Iraq (roughly 800 miles worth of it). Now their leaders are discussing the possibility of cooperation with Iraq in fighting ISIS most likely because they’re numbers are being stretched too thin by the Turkish military incursion. In December the SDF was quoted saying, “A secure international border protects Syrians and Iraqis from Daesh movement into and across the region as the terrorist organization and its leaders flee the battlefield.”
Haider al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq, suggested the concept of joint operations and Syrian based anti-terror based operations. In a press release the PM said, “Our project has developed from fighting terror in Iraq to fighting terror in the region.” He made a point to ensure reporters that the Iraqi forces would “not transgress” the efforts of other nations in reference to Turkey and their reclamation of Afrin and Manbij. Officials from both sides have stressed the severity that surrounds their nations intertwined security.
Featured Image Courtesy of Mahmoud Bali (VOA) (Yazidi Female Fighters Join Battle Against IS) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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