As Kurdish-Arab alliance prepares to storm Shaddadi, tribal leaders ask ISIS to withdraw to avoid civilian casualties

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Militants of the Islamic State are seen in the city of Shaddadi south of Hasakah. File photo

ARA News 

QAMISHLI – Arab tribal leaders in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah have reportedly proposed an initiative to the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) urging the group to withdraw “peacefully” from its last stronghold in the province, namely Shaddadi city, local sources reported on Tuesday.

The initiative aims to avoid a possible military operation on the ISIS-held city by the Kurdish-Arab alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) –who were able to recapture the key town of al-Hawl and more than 210 other towns and villages in Hasakah province from the terror group over the past few weeks.

“The tribal initiative comes after the SDF has made significant progress in the southern countryside of Hasakah at the expense of Daesh, seizing al-Hawl town, which was considered a key bastion for the terror group in the region, beside many other areas,” an informed source in Shaddadi told ARA News, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The Kurdish-Arab alliance announced last week the liberation of the al-Melebiya military base in Hasakah countryside from ISIS. 

Activists reported on Tuesday that the initiative comes in order to avoid civilian casualties or the collapse of the economic infrastructure of the Shaddadi city as a result of possible devastating battles between the joint forces, backed by warplanes of the U.S.-led coalition, and the radical group. 

An informed source said that ISIS extremists started evacuating some of their locations in Shaddadi and its environs. 

“The group withdrew from the Hasakah Dam (also known as al-Basel Dam) and several other points in preparation for the upcoming military operation by the SDF and the US.-led coalition.” 

“ISIS militants began to transfer their families along with some military equipment from Shaddadi to the province of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria,” the source told ARA News on the condition of anonymity.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) haven’t issued any statement concerning a possible compromise with ISIS over Shaddadi.

Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh

Source: ARA News

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