US-Backed Kurdish Forces Seize ISIS Town in Eastern Syria

ISIS forces continue to fight around the outskirts of Hajin

The US-backed Kurdish YPG has once again secured a gain in fighting around ISIS-held towns in eastern Syria, reporting on Friday that they have “full control” of the town of Hajin, the largest of the contested towns.

The Kurds have been contesting these towns for months, and this is not the first time they’ve seized Hajin. ISIS fighters are still reported in “small pockets” in and around the city, though the Kurds claim they are optimistic they’ll be finished in a few days.

In the past ISIS has fairly quickly turned the tide after such defeats with counter-offensives, often using inclement weather or other opportunities to quickly reverse the situation. They may have an opportunity coming up.

Turkey has announced their intention to invade northeastern Syria and attack those same Kurdish forces, and in the past that has forced the Kurds to back off ISIS and move to defensible positions further north. This tends to allow ISIS to retake lost ground with less fighting.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.