BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:30 P.M.) – There is most likely up to one thousand Islamic State militants still present within Syria’s eastern desert being jammed between US-backed forces in Hasakah province and the western Iraqi border.
As many as 1,000 ISIS terrorists continue to operate in the far eastern desert region of Syria within a pocketed area located between the east side of the Khabur River in Hasakah province and the western Iraqi border.
The sources which report this base their calculations around taking into account the estimated strength of ISIS in the western Iraqi desert and middle Euphrates valley region prior to October 2017 and then minus it by the amount of fighters known to have been killed since then as well as the number of militants currently opposing US-backed forces on the eastern shore of the Euphrates.
The terrain of the desert east of Hasakah is wholly idealistic for a protracted ISIS presence. The region is virtually identical to the western Iraqi desert, being riddled with plateaus and canyons as well as having almost no population.
Despite the hostile sounding nature of such an environment, Islamic State fighters have learned (since the time their organization was once called Al-Qaeda in Iraq) to create and maintain bases of operations throughout such terrain using caves, natural and man-made, to house troops and equipment as well as tunnels to facilitate the movement of raiding forces.