At least five U.S.-backed fighters were killed Thursday in clashes with ISIS (Daesh) militants in eastern Deir Ezzor province, activists told Zaman al-Wasl, like reported by zamanalwsl.net.
The assailants opened fire on the Syrian Democratic Forces in the town of al-Hajin, according to activist Mohamed al-Khalaf.
The attack by the Islamic State’s sleeper cell followed a campaign by the Kurdish-led forces to track former Daesh militants in eastern Syria.
‘Kurdistan 24’ news site reported on Wednesday that the SDF had arrested five Daesh members in Raqqa and Manbij cities.
Mustafa Bali, the head of the SDF press office in northeast Syria, wrote on Twitter that counterterrorism units had detained the five Islamic State members in “two separate successful raids in Raqqa and Manbij countryside.”
A roadmap published by the US-led coalition for the defeat of the Islamic State following a meeting of senior coalition officials in Paris on Tuesday also underlined the threat of active sleeper cells.
Despite the SDF and the US-led coalition announcing the defeat of the terror group’s self-proclaimed caliphate on March 23, Islamic State sleeper cell attacks continue in Arab-majority areas that were liberated from the militants.
The US-led coalition confirmed that although a territorial defeat had been achieved, “the job to ensure a lasting defeat of [ISIS] is still to be done.”
The leadership in the Kurdistan Region has also warned of the Islamic State’s continued threat in both Syria and Iraq.