Heavy fighting between ISIS and the Kurdish YPG raged over the weekend, with ISIS counter-attacks launched out of their last towns in Eastern Syria. At least 47 YPG fighters were killed over the weekend in three separate assaults, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Kurdish forces have been attacking the area for months, but this weekend saw ISIS turning the tide, hitting the villages of al-Bahra and Gharanij. They are also getting dangerously close the strategically valuable al-Tanak oilfield.
As has been the case in recent fighting, ISIS seems to have a substantial advantage in the fog, and was able to carry out this weekend’s pushes without the US getting involved in providing air support for the Kurds.
The three towns being contested, just north of the Iraq border crossing of al-Qaim and al-Bukamal, is the only major territory still held by ISIS. The area has been targeted repeatedly, but the vast number of ISIS forces in the area, and incalculable others in the desert nearby, makes this a very long fight to try to displace them.