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ISIS In Syria: US-Led Coalition Keeps Strong Partnership With SDF

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The Jerusalem Post

ISIS In Syria: US-Led Coalition Keeps Strong Partnership With SDF

US-led coalition supports SDF through various measures besides military support

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN  

The US-led Coalition and its Operation Inherent Resolve that is designed to defeat ISIS has continued a close partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces in eastern Syria, despite the recent crisis. A discussion with the spokesman for the coalition, Col. Myles Caggins III, reveals how the continued campaign in eastern Syria seeks to balance the control of critical infrastructure while dealing with a complex environment bordered by other countries.

Caggins was recently in Syria where he saw first hand the results of shifting policy where the US withdrew from border areas in northeast Syria and closed several bases between Tabqa, Raqqa, Manbij and Kobani. These included an airstrip at Sarrin and a base near a cement factory. This is “re-balancing” of forces into other areas of eastern Syria where the coalition continues to partner closely with the SDF in Deir Ezzor and Hasakah provinces. “The partnership never broke or was severed,” Caggins said.

This is important because the US decision on October 6 to withdraw from parts of Syria left many questions about what the coalition's role would eventually be. The coalition is made up of 81 partners, but most of them were not involved in eastern Syria. French and UK special forces were once involved, but their role today is unclear.

Read more: https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/ISIS-in-Syria-US-led-coalition-keeps-strong-partnership-with-SDF-608602