33 arrested by SDF anti-ISIS sweep in Deir ez-Zor countryside

DEIR EZ-ZOR, Syria – In a “sweeping” operation conducted by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with the support of International Coalition forces, 33 suspects accused of belonging to Islamic State (ISIS) cells were arrested in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor, Syria..

On Monday, the Center for Coordination and Military Operations of the SDF said that special units, accompanied by soldiers of the International Coalition, swept the town of Zeban, east of Deir ez-Zor, to capture and disrupt ISIS cells and to increase stability in a region that has witnessed routine ISIS attacks against security personnel and civilians.

The center published on its official Twitter account that a number of those arrested in Zeban were processed and released.

The center also confirmed the continuation of investigation of the rest of the individuals picked up in the sweep by the relevant security services.

Civil sources reported that SDF imposed a curfew in the city until the end of the raids and searches campaign, noting that it was the third campaign on the town since the beginning of February.

The International Coalition has sent reinforcements to its military forces in the Deir ez-Zor countryside in recent weeks to bolster the mission to eradicate ISIS sleeper cells and prevent the terrorist groups resurgence.

ISIS has been increasingly active in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor, taking advantage of the instability and shifted SDF resources caused by Turkey’s October 2019 invasion of the northern cities of Tel Abyad and Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) and the surrounding countryside.