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Has Daesh been defeated in Syria ?

Years after the launching of the military operation against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, which came under the name of the international coalition against terrorism led by the United States of America, and by the end of 2017 the organization shrank, after controlling the vast areas of Syrian territory perhaps the largest area from the northern Aleppo countryside passing In the provinces of Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in Syria to the city of Mosul and a section of Badia Ramadi in Iraq, as well as separate pockets in the countryside of Damascus and Badia Sham, Hama and Daraa and the countryside of Homs.

The rapid collapse of the organization territory in the region, the most recent of which was in Deir Ezzor, was a great deal of confusion. It was difficult to measure the strength of the organization and its risks, and with successive withdrawals from major towns and villages in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor. With little resistance, such as Qudan Muhsin, Al-Miyadim, Al-A’shara, Qawriya, and the most recent of which were Al-Bu Kamal, which he withdrew from without any battles with the attacking Assad forces.

Its desire to defend its presence in some of the smaller villages, which does not have the strategic importance of the major cities abandoned by the organization without a fight, and start to appear more in the eastern Hama countryside while losing a large area in the Eastern region raises several questions, Does Daesh presence in Deir Ezzour and Raqqa means the end of the organization in Syria ?.

Note that the organization has not been completely defeated in Deir Ezzor  as it  continues to fight in small villages, as we mentioned earlier in the form of  small groups whose tactics are based on street warfare as a kind of preservation of presence in this region.

Fortifications of the organization in the Syrian territory: 

The organization is located in 6 pockets isolated from each other: 

Pocket One:
In some villages and towns on the northern bank of the Euphrates River in the eastern Deir Ezzzor countryside, the organization has presence in the Bahrah and the Baguoz. The organization shares control with SDF. The organization is also operating as small groups in the desert of the southern bank of the Euphrates River. It also carries out  sporadic attacks on positions of the Assad forces in the eastern countryside from time to time.

Second Pocket: 

Located in the southern Hasaka countryside, this is the quietest pocket for the elements of the organization. 

Third Pocket: 

This enclave is located in the Syrian Badia in the area between the south-eastern Deir Al Zour countryside and the outskirts of the “Hamima” area in the heart of the Badia and to the outskirts of the city of Sokhna located in the eastern Homs countryside and spread within this region in the form of scattered groups. 

Fourth Pocket: 

And is located in Hajar Aswaad area on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, where the organization managed to control the Black Stone area in early 2015, although the area besieged by the Assad forces on the one hand and factions of the Free Army on the other hand that the organization is still in the region as a threat looming Assad forces of the Free Army factions. 

Pocket V: 

It is located in the valley of the Yarmouk Basin in the western village of Daraa. The organization’s presence in this area is known as Khalid Bin Al Waleed’s Army, which has been affiliated with the organization since the past two years and has adopted a similar approach. 

Pocket 6: 

It is located in the northern villages of Hama to the south-eastern Idlib countryside and constitutes the elements of the al-Aqsa Brigade and the leaders and elements who fled from Raqqa and Homs the weight of the organization in this region. 

The focus of this pocket is largely due to the battles waged by the Assad forces and the militias supporting them in addition to the Russian forces on the Free Army factions in the countryside of Idlib, which played an important role in the scenario of the battles. Where the Assad regime once again used a sympathetic organization by facilitating its withdrawal from more than 150 villages and towns in the northern Hama countryside and directing it to the countryside of Idlib in the west in a move to disperse the forces of the Free Army factions and the Sham Liberation Organization and to engage in battles with a supportive organization that would exhaust them, Lion control after the withdrawal of the organization urging them. 

In comparison to the former, it is difficult to say that the Da’ad organization has ended in Syria, so that many of the forces, headed by the Assad regime, which is involved with the use of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Iraqi and Iranian Shiite militias, continue to use the organization in secret and run it in accordance with its plans To maintain and even revive it every time the organization is subjected to a setback. The complete demise of the organization is largely linked to the demise of the dictatorial regimes that support it or even to the end of the process of reviving it clinically to remain like a knife on the neck of the Free Army factions.
Article by:
Rami Abou El Zein