NORTH AND EAST SYRIA – In a statement, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) released a balance sheet for 2019 detailing the results of combat operations against ISIS and Turkey. The SDF declared their commitment to the protection of the peoples of the region from hostile actors.
The statement reads:
“The people Northern Syria were vanguards of a unique revolutionary struggle with the aim of protecting their freedom and honor throughout 2019. Today, our resistance against ISIS and the Turkish army with the protection of basic human values, has brought forward internationalism and a wish for freedom by taking on the role as vanguards for a national struggle.”
On March 23, at the conclusion of the SDF operation to retake Deir ez-Zor province, the days of the physical ISIS caliphate were brought to an end in Baghuz Fawqani, a town along the Euphrates River on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq. The SDF declared that, “During three months of combat, at least 1,306 terrorists were killed. More than 29,600 terrorists and their families (from Iraq, Syria, and all parts of the world) were arrested and 7,000 km2 of land was liberated from terror.”
The SDF also notes their role in the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi:
“In regards to the long and thorough planning and cooperation between our forces, the international coalition and U.S., our forces participated with great cooperation in the operation against al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. The operation took place in an area occupied by Turkey in north-west Syria and resulted in al-Baghdadi being killed.”
Concerning the Turkish-led invasion of northern Syria, the SDF states that:
“On October 9th, 2019, the Turkish army and their mercenary proxies started their attacks on Northern Syria with the aim of occupying the region. The occupation forces attacked the entire border areas of Rojava with thousands of mercenaries, tanks, heavy machine-guns, warplanes and UAV’s. This resulted in hundreds of thousands of civilians being displaced from their homes, being martyred and injured.”
In the resistance against the Turkish army, the SDF declared the deaths of 508 fighters, with 1,547 wounded and 73 others captured. Moreover, the SDF highlights the Turkish invasion has resulted in more than 400,000 civilians being displaced from their homes and Turkish shelling and bombardment caused 522 civilian deaths, wounding 2,757 more.