Coalition aircraft carried out more than 90 airstrikes between Jan. 4 to Jan. 11 near the Iraq-Syria border, pummeling a small town known as Abu Kamal, one of the last remaining strongholds of ISIS fighters in Syria.
In mid-October, U.S.-backed partner forces known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, managed to liberate Raqqa, ISIS’ de-fecto capital, and have continued to press down the middle Euphrates River valley, where they’ve encountered pockets of stiff resistance.
Russian-backed Syrian fighters and their proxy forces are also operating in vicinity of Abu Kamal on the western bank of the Euphrates.
The area has become a bit of a convergence point for all parties involved in the Syrian conflict, a Pentagon official told Military Times.
Because of the battlefield congestion, U.S. and Russian officials have continued to use the deconfliction hotline to sort out air and ground operations in and around the small town.
In recent operations, the SDF suffered 2 killed in action and 21 wounded, according to Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway, a spokesperson for the Pentagon.
“Coalition precision strikes killed 50 ISIS terrorists and wounded nine, accounting for more than 180 EKIA [enemy killed in action] and at least 15 EWIA [enemy wounded in action] over the past 48 hours,” he said.
Despite losing most of its territory, the ISIS threat remains present.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.