WASHINGTON, The coalition against the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS) has begun its “increased defensive action” phase and marked the beginning of Operation Roundup, Deputy Commander for Strategy and Support for the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve said Tuesday.
This phase is directed to destroy IS “in the final areas where they hold ground east of the Euphrates River and liberate the last of their fake caliphate,” General Felix Gedney, of the UK, told reporters.
This action follows an increase in coalition airstrikes and the resumption of operations by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
“In the first phase of Operation Roundup, the Syrian Democratic Forces are securing the southeast portion of the Syrian Iraqi border by eliminating IS resistance and establishing defensive positions in coordination with the Iraqi Security Forces, who are operating in parallel on the Iraqi side of the border,” Gen. Gendney said.
Since May 1, the coalition has conducted over 40 airstrikes and destroyed eight IS held buildings, six logistical assets, two explosives factories and two weapons caches.
In April, an airstrike killed IS leader Nur Al-Din who directed finance operations for IS in Iraq and Syria, including support of IS military and external capabilities.
“His removal deprives IS of a key leader for financial resourcing and demonstrates the effectiveness of Kurdish and then partner forces efforts throughout Operation Roundup to rid the Iraqi Syria border regions and the middle Euphrates River Valley of ISIS remnants,” said Gedney.
“Moving forward, as Operation Roundup progresses, the coalition will continue to support the Syrian Democratic Forces compacting what’s left of IS in Syria as we deal the final blow,” he added.
Source: Kuwait News Agency