Scores Killed, Including Civilians, in Heavy Fighting in Eastern Syria

ISIS looks to retake al-Souseh

Kurdish claims that they had taken the “last” village held by ISIS went as well this past week as they usually do, with the weekend seeing a major ISIS counter-offensive launched against the town of Souseh, and heavy fighting.

10 hours of fighting and a lot of casualties were reported on Saturday, though the Kurdish SDF’s assessment of who was killed and how many was quite a bit different from other accounts. The SDF reported they’d lost 11 fighters, but that 56 airstrikes were launched supporting them, and that 82 militants were killed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, by contrast, saying that 42 people were killed overall. At least 13 were civilians. They added that 401 civilians were documented killed since early December in strikes against the ISIS-held region.

SDF gains seem to heavily be connected with US air support, and when the weather does not permit planes to get involved, ISIS tends to be able to take substantial gains. This is a big part of why months of offensives against three towns and some adjoining villages have been so inconclusive.

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.