On May first, the Syrian Democratic Forces initiated Operation Roundup: the eviction of the last remnants of ISIS from north-eastern Syria. The first phase of the operation ended successfully in mid-May, with the liberation of the town of Baghuz.
The second phase of Operation Roundup, clearing the terrorists out of the town of Dashisha, began on June 3rd. “We welcome the launch …of operations by the Syrian Democratic Forces against ISIS terrorists in Dashisha, Syria,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a written statement.“Dashisha is a notorious ISIS stronghold in northeast Syria from which ISIS has terrorized the Syrian and Iraqi people for many years.”
Dashisha is just 50 kilometers from the Iraqi border, so Iraq is also involved in this process. The Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS, too, is heavily engaged in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces. As the second phase began, it conducted numerous air strikes and engagements against ISIS fighters and equipment.
“We will help ensure that the Government of Iraq has the support it needs to fully secure it borders against ISIS and other terrorist threats, pursuant to our Strategic Framework Agreement with Iraq. We will also work to ensure that all the diverse people of northeast Syria, including Arabs, Kurds, Christian, and Turkmen, have an appropriate say in defining the future of Syria pursuant to the political process set forth in the UN Security Council Resolution 2254,” said Secretary Pompeo.
“The fighting over the days ahead will be extremely difficult. We have full confidence in our partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, and we are proud to work with them to rid Syria from the scourge of ISIS and help build a better future for all Syrians. President Trump has acknowledged that there is more work to be done to complete the defeat of ISIS and he is committed to finishing the job as quickly as possible while setting the conditions that will prevent its return,” he said.
“We continue to call on Coalition members, our regional partners, and allies to share the burden for ongoing stabilization efforts that are critical to preserving the military gains that have been achieved.”