According to Reuters media agency, Syrian fighters advanced into ISIL-held town at the border with Iraq, the New Syrian commander told Reuters, in a new U.S-backed offensive aimed at cutting ISIL in two.
The operation aiming to capture the eastern Syrian town of Al-Bukamal, which began on Tuesday, adds to the pressure facing ISIL as it faces a separate, U.S-backed offensive in northern Syria aimed at driving it away from the Turkish border.
The media agency added that the offensive is being waged by the Syrian fighters of the “New Syria Army” formed some 18 months ago from insurgents driven from eastern Syria at the height of ISIL’s rapid expansion in 2014. Rebel sources say it has been trained with U.S support.
“The clashes are inside the town and matters are not yet settled,” said the New Syrian army commander of the Asala wa-Al-Tanmiya Front, one of the main elements of the New Syria Army. The Syrian fighters entered the town at dawn, he said.