The operations of the International Coalition against ISIS west of the Euphrates: significance and importance

The operations of the International Coalition against ISIS west of the Euphrates: significance and importance

The operations of the International Coalition against ISIS west of the Euphrates: significance and importance

 


During the early hours of Thursday morning, June 16, 2022, a military group affiliated with the US-led international coalition forces carried out an airdrop operation targeting a house between the villages of Humira and Jubb al-Dam in the vicinity of Jarabulus city, north of Aleppo.

In this operation, 8 US military helicopters participated, 2 of which were for transporting soldiers, in addition to drones for the coverage operation to secure the vicinity of the airdrop site.

The operation led to the arrest of Hani Ahmed Al-Kurdi; who is said to be a prominent leader in ISIS, experienced bomb maker and the operation facilitator in the organization. Gen. Michael E. Corella, the commander of US Central Command in the Middle East (CENTCOM), also stated that the detainee is the “Wali" or governor of Raqqa.

It seems that the announced information about the detainee is inaccurate; especially when this person had been residing in the area for more than 3 years. He also used to work as a driver of a tanker for transporting oil or fuel. Al-Kurdi’s job requires to move between the areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian National Army. This, in fact, leads some to believe that his potential role in the organization was limited to the logistical aspect of manufacturing or transporting explosives, especially since the international coalition forces intensified their security operations and airdrops against ISIS within the SDF-controlled areas during the past month. In these operations, a number of people were arrested because of allegations of working with the ISIS organization as financial and logistical facilitators, booby-trapping experts and recruitment officials.

It is noted that the international coalition forces used the same tactic during this operation that they usually follow in similar cases, especially those that take place outside the SDF-controlled areas. The forces participating in the operation set off from the "Lafarge" base of the international coalition forces, south of the city of Ayn al-Arab / Kobani, several hours after arriving from one of the bases of the international coalition in al-Hasakah Governorate.

Accordingly, it became clear that the Lafarge base, although evacuated by the coalition forces after Operation Peace Spring in mid-October 2019, is still occasionally used as a base of operations for the coalition forces, for logistical and reconnaissance purposes. The use of this base - at the present time - may reflect the United States' fears of the impact of the military operation, which Turkey is preparing to launch, on the efforts to combat ISIS, given that this base is located as one of the areas that are listed as potential targets for a possible military operation.

On the other hand, the reason for using the Lafarge base without entering Turkish airspace can be attributed either to operational aspects related to ensuring speedy action or to confirm the ability of the international coalition to continue running operations against ISIS independently and without the presence of permanent military points for its forces in all areas. The other aim could be to demonstrate the importance of the relationship with local partners in the fight against terrorism, despite regional objections to that.

Nonetheless; despite the coalition’s statement emphasizes the partnership with the SDF in the future in chasing ISIS, it does not necessarily mean limiting partnership only to SDF in Syria. 

 

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