SDF intensifies security campaign against Islamic State organization

People said by the Internal Security Forces to have been arrested on charges of belonging to the Islamic State organization in al-Hol camp east of al-Hasakah - April 24, 2024 (Asayish)

People said by the Internal Security Forces to have been arrested on charges of belonging to the Islamic State organization in al-Hol camp east of al-Hasakah - April 24, 2024 (Asayish)


The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have ramped up their security campaign against the cells of the Islamic State in their controlled areas in northeastern Syria. The Internal Security Forces (Asayish) announced the arrest of 25 individuals accused of affiliation with the organization in al-Hol camp, east of al-Hasakah, days after launching a similar security campaign in the same province.

In a statement issued Wednesday, April 24, Asayish said, in collaboration with the Operations Forces, they raided dens of the Islamic State organization’s cells in al-Hol camp and managed to arrest 25 individuals, including a woman.

The statement added that the detainees were members of five security cells belonging to the organization, considered “among the most dangerous cells within the camp.”

According to the Asayish statement, the cell members were active in monitoring and tracking security patrols, executing killings and torture of men and women inside the camp, and spreading “extremist ideology” among its residents. The cells were also preparing and planning to carry out joint operations to target military and security points.

During the security operation inside the camp through inspection operations, Asayish seized a quantity of weapons, ammunition, explosive devices, and communication devices, according to the statement.

The statement concluded by mentioning that Asayish had begun investigating the cell members and would transfer them to the judiciary upon completion of the legal procedures.

The Asayish announcement came four days after the Syrian Democratic Forces announced a security campaign to pursue those suspected of belonging to the Islamic State in al-Hasakah province, northeastern Syria.

In a statement published by its media center, it added that the special operations teams it comprises, along with the Women’s Protection Units and Internal Security Forces, carried out a widespread special security operation in the outskirts of al-Hasakah city.

During the operation, they arrested 38 suspects of belonging to the Islamic State organization’s cells, who were attempting to carry out various operations in the city, according to the statement.

Expansion of the organization’s operations

The security movements of the SDF came after a noticeable increase in the activity of the Islamic State, according to statistics on its operations in the region announced regularly.

Since the beginning of the current year, the organization’s operations have taken a new turn, entering cities that have long been considered the popular base for the SDF, such as al-Hasakah and Qamishli, and carrying out assassinations and targeting within these cities.

One of the most significant targeting incidents was in the security square in Qamishli city, where the Syrian regime controls. The area is so named because it includes security branches and government buildings, in a relatively small geographic area.

Since the beginning of the year, the operations of the Islamic State have extended to new areas in Syria that had been absent for years, targeting an employee of the Autonomous Administration in the Mufti district in the city of al-Hasakah, in addition to operations in the city of al-Sukhnah east of Homs, targeting regime forces’ elements.

The organization’s operations were not limited to the mentioned cities but also extended to the provinces of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa.

Over the past years, it was possible to estimate the organization’s weekly operations, as they did not exceed 20 targeting per week, and in the most severe cases, 10 of them took place in SDF-controlled areas in northeastern Syria.

Since the beginning of the year, the operations of the organization have exceeded their usual limits, with it announcing 32 operations in the first week of 2024, then announcing 34 operations in the following week, with these operations distributed among the Syrian regime’s areas and the SDF controlled areas.

The International Coalition’s presence

At the beginning of April this year, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said it had executed, in cooperation with its partners in Syria and Iraq, 94 missions against the Islamic State, resulting in the death of 18 elements and the arrest of 63 others between March and April.

It added via the “X” platform, that its operations in Syria alone reached 28 joint operations, resulting in the death of seven elements from the organization and the arrest of 27 others.

In Iraq, 66 joint operations resulted in the killing of 11 elements from the organization and the arrest of 36 others, according to CENTCOM.

CENTCOM stated that the ongoing pursuit of about 2,500 fighters of the organization across Iraq and Syria is a critical element in its permanent defeat.

It also referred to the ongoing international efforts to repatriate more than 9,000 detainees of the Islamic State organization in detention facilities in Syria, and the rehabilitation and reintegration of more than 45,000 individuals and families from the al-Hol and al-Roj camps, as being of the same importance to defeating the organization.



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