BEIRUT (AP) — The highest U.S. military commander on Saturday visited northeast Syria the place American troops and their allies are launching a marketing campaign in opposition to the Islamic State group, a U.S. military official stated.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers Gen. Mark Milley met commanders and troops who up to date him on the continuing operations in opposition to IS, stated Col. Dave Butler, spokesman for Milley.
Butler didn’t say whether or not Milley met with commanders of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces which have been the principle ally of U.S. forces in Syria in the struggle in opposition to IS.
Milley’s go to got here a day after the U.S. Central Command stated American troops and their allies carried greater than a dozen joint operations in northeast Syria in February throughout which 5 IS operatives have been killed and 11 detained.
“Whereas there, he obtained updates on the counter-ISIS mission, inspected pressure safety measures and assessed repatriation efforts for the Al Hol refugee camp,” Butler stated referring to a camp housing tens of 1000’s of largely IS-linked girls and youngsters.
At al-Hol, tens of 1000’s of Syrians and Iraqis are crowded into tents in the fenced-in camp. Practically 20,000 of them are youngsters; many of the relaxation are girls, wives and widows of IS fighters.
In a separate, closely guarded part of the camp often called the annex are a further 10,000 individuals: 2,000 girls from 57 different nations — they’re thought of probably the most die-hard IS supporters — together with about 8,000 of their youngsters.
Over the previous few months a number of nations, together with France, Spain and Iraq, repatriated scores of girls and youngsters from al-Hol.
Kurdish authorities at present function greater than two dozen detention services scattered throughout northeastern Syria, holding about 10,000 IS fighters. Among the many detainees are some 2,000 foreigners whose residence nations have refused to repatriate them, together with about 800 Europeans.
There are at present about 900 U.S. forces on the bottom in northeast Syria, based on Deputy Assistant Secretary of Protection Dana Stroul.
Regardless of their defeat in March 2019 throughout which IS misplaced the final sliver of land it as soon as managed, the extremists sleeper cells nonetheless perform lethal assaults in Syria and neighboring Iraq.
In February, IS sleeper cells attacked staff amassing truffles close to the central city of Sukhna, killing at the very least 53 individuals, largely staff but additionally some Syrian authorities safety forces. A number of related assaults have occurred since.
Baldor reported from Washington.