November 13, 2018 - 13:04 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Syrian Kurdish forces are resuming the final phase of operations against the Islamic State, as the terrorist group is pushed back into its last remaining slivers of territory.
The resumption comes as CNN releases rare frontline footage of the recent intense fight against the IS, filmed by Brazilian photographer Gabriel Chaim.
The latest Kurdish push against the IS follows a lengthy and contentious stand-off with Turkish forces. Turkey, a NATO member, considers the Syrian Kurds -- the US coalition's main ally in the fight against the IS -- a terrorist group.
YPG fighters are seen on the frontline on October 18, in Baghoz, Syria, during an operation to retake the last stronghold of IS in Syria.
Clashes between the Turkish military and the Syrian Kurds -- also known as the SDF when allied with Syrian Arab fighters against the IS -- have intermittently plagued and delayed the final operations against the IS. The most recent suspension occurred November 1, but operations restarted Sunday, the SDF said in a statement.
The SDF said operations resumed after "positive calls from our allies to de-escalate and focus the efforts on defeating the IS, as it would contribute to the stabilization of the area and the benefit of all parties." The US has long been mediating between Ankara and the SDF to lessen tension to the point where the SDF can focus on the IS.
The past months of the operations, aiming to deny ISIS their last small towns and swathes of inhospitable desert along the Iraqi border and at the far eastern end of the Euphrates river valley in Syria, have been a slower and tougher fight than many expected. The main holdout fighters are thought to be die-hard foreigners and ISIS leadership, taking a last stand.
Photographer Chaim joined the intense fight for the town of Sousa in late October, a period when the SDF fought tooth and nail to take its streets from ISIS. On October 23, four car bombs targeted SDF fighters, though the SDF said three attacks were stopped and the driver of the fourth was captured.