DIYAR AHMO – HOGER NAJJAR / DEIR EZ-ZOR
SDF, supported by the International Coalition, had begun the last phase of the "battle to defeat terrorism" to liberate the last pocket where IS mercenaries were holed up inside al-Baguz strategic village as it is located on the border between Syria and Iraq and the point for entering military and logistical equipment to the Syrian territories to be later distributed to the areas that had been under mercenaries' control several years earlier.
The battle began at a high pace by SDF, and within a few days, they managed to liberate the majority of the village, about 90% of the area of al-Baguz village, located on the banks of the Euphrates River, and the fighters of SDF liberated thousands of civilians stranded in the areas controlled by IS among them the families of IS mercenaries in addition to surrendering many mercenaries.
But as the areas controlled by IS gradually evaporated, the majority of mercenaries who are experienced in fighting and are considered the commanders of the first row and founders of IS are of different European and Asian nationalities and countries.
In a press conference held in al-Omer oil field in Deir ez-Zor village, the commander of al-Jazeera Tempest campaign, Çiya Furat, explained that the mercenaries are surrounded by the forces from three axes in an area ranging from 600 to 700 m2.
IS mercenaries were fortified in this small area on the banks of the Euphrates River, and they took the civilians as human shields to stop the rapid progress of SDF in al-Baguz village. IS mercenaries have planted mines throughout the village in addition to digging the trenches, to hide from the eyes of the fighters and carry out suicide operations.
With all these obstacles, SDF have not ceased to complete its basic mission which has been liberating the civilians. They sent Special Forces with experience in the street war which was formed during the liberation of many cities in northern Syria such as Manbij, al-Tabqa and al-Raqqa. The forces managed to free more than 5,000 civilians, even the families of mercenaries and reached them to safe areas far from the fighting fronts.
According to the liberated people, there are a large number of mercenaries who refused to surrender themselves to the SDF. They are of different nationalities, and those who were liberated explained that the majority of them were first-class commanders and founders of the gang, most of them are of Iraqi, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Britain nationalities and other European and Asian countries.
The director of SDF's Media Center, Mustafa Bali, noted that through some of their own sources, in addition to the exit of a large number of civilians of different nationalities, they found that those who refuse to leave and remain are protected by civilians and they are of Iraqi nationalities, Soviet countries and a number of European countries.
He pointed out that they cannot confirm the existence of princes with high ranks, but what they can conclude is that the decisions taken within the village of al-Bagoz and through the mercenaries who are there come from outside the region or more correctly from outside Syria.
On the other hand, SDF and through the Special Forces managed to arrest a large number of mercenaries of different nationalities who tried to hide among the liberated civilians, and explained that these are considered princes and commanders of IS mercenaries, but because of their injuries, they can no longer fight so they try to escape as being civilians.
Some mercenaries' families who have been freed noted that those who remain in al-Baguz and who refuse to leave are still dreaming of returning the lost areas and reviving the so-called "Caliphate State".