U.S.-Backed Syrian Military Group Resumes Offensive Against ISIS by Louisa Loveluck – Washington Post
A U.S.-backed force in Syria announced Tuesday that it was resuming operations against the Islamic State after an earlier push stalled as fighters left for other battlefronts.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is a Kurdish-dominated military alliance that with U.S. support has defeated the Islamic State across swaths of the country. The group in October ousted the Islamic State from Raqqa, the Islamists de facto Syrian capital, but the fight for the Islamic State’s last stronghold, the oil-rich Deir al-Zour province, foundered earlier this year when thousands of SDF fighters left to fight another foe, Turkey, which seized much of a Kurdish-dominated enclave in northern Syria.
The Deir al-Zour offensive suspended in March, allowing the Islamic State to embed across a swath of desert along Syria’s border with Iraq. Estimates for the number of militants remaining across the two countries range between 1,000 and 3,000.
The SDF is now turning its attention back to battling the Islamic State…