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DECEMBER 2021

SAA And Russia Contain ISIS Amid Fears Of A Future Resurgence

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The Syrian elections have come and gone, but ISIS remains, with the necessity to contain the terrorist group.

On June 2, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that more than 110 airstrikes were carried out on ISIS hideouts in the central region.

Approximately 100 were attributed to the Russian aerospace forces, with the remainder on the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

There are no numbers of casualties, however as a result of May’s efforts, at least 27 ISIS terrorists were killed and 41 wounded.

Both the SAA and its Russian support are pushing to contain ISIS further in the central region, and that is happening with mixed success.

Russia suspended the salaries of former rebels in the southern Syrian governorate of Daraa because they refused to step up their efforts against ISIS.

Daraa’s former rebels joined the fight against ISIS in central Syria in February under the banner of the 8th Brigade, a unit of the army’s 5th Corps of the SAA.

In April, the 8th Brigade faced a major backlash from Syrian opposition supporters after sending reinforcements to the central region. Many in the opposition don’t see the battle against ISIS as theirs.

In May, the brigade members flat out refused to send any reinforcement, and as such their salaries were held back. Since the “moderate opposition” in these regions doesn’t view ISIS as a threat, and as such there is no need to fight against the terrorists.

Meanwhile, despite the pressure, ISIS continues its attacks.

On June 1, ISIS terrorists targeted a vehicle carrying supplies for the Syrian National Defense Forces near the town of al-Salamiyah in eastern Hama with an improvised explosive device.

ISIS main stronghold in central Syria is the Homs desert, which lays between eastern Homs and western Deir Ezzor.

Due to Syrian and Russian military pressure most of the terrorist group’s recent attacks took place in eastern Hama, southern Aleppo and southern Raqqa.

In the Homs countryside, weapons caches left by other militant factions are being steadily discovered and cleared out, which also limits ISIS’ reinforcement opportunities.

In al-Hawl camp, which hosts thousands of families of ISIS militants, many children are still being educated by their mothers by ISIS propaganda.

Some 50,000 Syrians and Iraqis are housed there. Nearly 20,000 of them are children.

A separate, heavily-guarded section of the camp known as the annex houses another 2,000 women from 57 other countries, considered the most die-hard ISIS supporters, along with their children, numbering 8,000.

This presents a significant threat of resurgence. UNICEF, as well as the Kurdish groups are attempting to avoid such a scenario, but there seems to be little progress.

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