US-Backed Kurds Claim Over 200 ISIS Surrender in Eastern Syria

50 killed in fighting over last four days

Officials with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a faction dominated by the Kurdish YPG, is reporting that over 200 ISIS fighters have suddenly surrendered on Wednesday in the area near al-Omar Oil Field.

This area is near the Syrian village of Baghouz, nominally the last ISIS-held village. Over the last four days, some 50 fighters have been killed between ISIS and the SDF, though both sides are contesting who lost more fighters.

Either way, the expectation that this week would be when the SDF announces final victory over ISIS seems to be premature, as there is little sign that the fighting is actually dying down. Indeed, this large number captured undercuts SDF estimates that ISIS was almost out of fighters.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the ISIS forces are in a 2-square kilometer area now, though ISIS is denying that they are on the verge of collapse. Large numbers of ISIS fighters are believed to still be in desert areas around eastern Syria as well.

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.