Hun­dreds taken by IS from dis­place­ment camp in Syria

Oman Daily Observer - - REGION -

BEIRUT: Hun­dreds of peo­ple were taken by IS group fight­ers from a dis­place­ment camp in east Syria dur­ing a mil­i­tant coun­ter­at­tack against ad­vanc­ing Usbacked forces, a mon­i­tor said on Satur­day.

The mil­i­tant raided the camp on Fri­day, tak­ing “more than 100 fam­i­lies” in­clud­ing rel­a­tives of IS de­fec­tors and of mil­i­tants killed in fight­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights.

A num­ber of fight­ers of the Kur­dish-led Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces (SDF) died try­ing to de­fend the camp in a bat­tle that lasted sev­eral hours, the Bri­tain­based mon­i­tor­ing group said.

The Us-backed SDF launched a ma­jor as­sault on Septem­ber 10 on the small stretch of the Euphrates Val­ley around the town of Ha­jin where they es­ti­mate some 3,000 mil­i­tants are holed up.

But they have sus­tained heavy ca­su­al­ties in the op­er­a­tion be­ing con­ducted with Us-led air sup­port. Since Wed­nes­day, 37 SDF fight­ers have been killed in mil­i­tant coun­ter­at­tacks, the Ob­ser­va­tory said.

IS has lost 58 fight­ers, most of them in re­tal­ia­tory coali­tion air strikes, it added.

“IS is press­ing its at­tacks in the Ha­jin area as the SDF bat­tles to hold them off with the sup­port of the in­ter­na­tional coali­tion,” Ob­ser­va­tory chief Rami Ab­del Rah­man said. But a pro­longed sand­storm has made it dif­fi­cult for the coali­tion to carry out air strikes.

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