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Syrian alliance retakes around 200 villages from Daesh

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition, which includes Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians, gather on the outskirts of the northeastern town of al-Hawl, in the Syrian Hasakeh Province on November 14, 2015. (AFP photo)

An alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces has recaptured a large swath of land in northeast Syria from the Takfiri terrorist group Daesh.

A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Monday that “between October 30 and November 13, an area of 1,362 square kilometers (545 square miles) was cleansed of IS (Daesh).”

Talal Ali Sello, who was briefing reporters in the newly recaptured town of al-Hawl, said the area included 196 towns and villages, some of them located along a strategic supply route connecting northeast Syria to the areas under the control of Daesh in neighboring Iraq.

Sello said the two-week operation saw 493 Daesh militants killed while 33 SDF fighters and four civilians lost their lives. He said dozens of Kurdish, Arab and Christian fighters have also been injured.

The most significant achievement by the alliance came on Thursday when it took al-Hawl in the Hasakah Province after it purged Daesh militants from several villages.

The SDF has been fighting Daesh since mid-October. It was formed out of an alliance between the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and other forces, including Arab and Assyrian fighters.

The crisis in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has so far claimed the lives of over 250,000 people and displaced nearly half of the country’s population within or out of its borders.

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