ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took heavy losses fending off a 10-hour long attack by ISIS in al-Souse town, in Deir ez-Zor’s Euphrates River valley.ISIS launched the attack in the early morning, the SDF announced on Saturday, describing the ensuing fight as “the toughest” it has seen for many days. They also reported “heavy clashes” on a second, nearby frontline. Fighter jets of the global coalition against ISIS carried out 56 airstrikes against ISIS in support of their SDF allies.
A total of 82 militants were killed and the SDF lost 11 of their soldiers.
Another 15 SDF members were wounded and are being treated in hospital. Civilians were also among the dead, according to a conflict monitor. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 42 people killed in airstrikes and shelling of ISIS-held territory overnight.
Thirteen of them were civilians. The Observatory has documented 401 civilian deaths since early December.
ISIS has also executed more than 713 people during this time, it stated. At least 27,550 people – of various nationalities – have fled ISIS-controlled territory since early December, according to the Observatory. The SDF has stepped up its operations against the last significant ISIS-held pocket of territory in eastern Syria.
It made the decision after a suicide bombing earlier this month in Manbij killed 18 people, including civilians, local forces, and US soldiers.