(SDF photo)

SDF Declares ‘New Phase in the Fight Against Terrorists’ After Caliphate Defeat

The Syrian Democratic Forces General Command announced today the “destruction” of the Islamic State and the and the end of ISIS control in the caliphate’s last ground pocket in the Baghouz region.

The multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian force composed of Kurds, Arabs, Christians, and ethnic minorities, which is led by male and female commanders, called the battle for Kobani at the beginning of 2015 “the symbol of the global resistance against terrorism and the turning point” of the eventual defeat of ISIS.

“We are proud of what we have achieved as a result of our war against Daesh and al-Qaeda, which is the rescue of nearly 5 million people of all components in northeast Syria from the clutches of terrorism, as well as the liberation of 52,000 square kilometers of Syrian territory and the elimination of the threat of terrorism,” the SDF said in a statement.

The SDF said more than 11,000 fellow fighters lost their lives battling the Islamic State over five years of fighting, an more than 21,000 were wounded.

“On this occasion we cannot but remember those heroes and pay tribute to the memory of the martyrs and wish the urgent recovery of their wounds — without their sacrifices we would not granted this victory,” the general command noted.

The SDF said the main factor in the defeat of the caliphate was their “adoption of the democratic approach, the principles of the democratic nation, the freedom of women, the principles of coexistence and brotherhood of peoples, which brought together Kurd, Arab, Syriac, Assyrian, Turkoman, Chechen, Circassian and international fighters under the Syrian Democratic Forces flag.”

“Just as Syrian Democratic Forces have helped people of the liberated areas to build their administrative and security institutions, they will also create the stability of the regions so that these areas can rebuild their administrative and legislative councils through democratic and transparent elections.”

The SDF added that their battle against ISIS terrorism “will continue until full victory is achieved” and the group is eliminated, stressing that it’s “the beginning of a new phase in the fight against terrorists” that will require the “continuation of precise military and security campaigns in coordination with the international coalition forces with the aim of completely eliminating the secret military presence of ISIS organization sleeper cells, which are a great threat to our region and the whole world.”

Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera and SiriusXM.

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