After an ambush Friday during which ISIS fighters killed 20 Kurdish YPG fighters additional US-backed Kurdish forces reached the village of Bagouz, one of a handful of “last” ISIS villages in eastern Syria.
Bagouz was not initially presented as the target of these offensives. Rather, the village of Hajin, where an estimated 3,000 ISIS fighters are present, was supposed to be the target. Instead, Kurdish officials are now touting the success of the attack on Bagouz.
It’s not clear how much resistance they’re facing in this other village, but Kurdish officials claimed to have reached the center of Bagouz and to have conquered more than half of it in very short order after arriving Saturday.
The US has been backing the Kurdish offensive with airstrikes, but beyond expressing confidence about taking all of this territory from ISIS, there is little clarity on what is actually going on. Given that the vast majority of ISIS forces are in the desert, but in these villages, it may not ultimately have a big impact on the long-term war.