15:40 GMT15 May 2021
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    US-backed forces took control of a strategic town in Syria thus severing links between territory held by Daesh terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US-backed forces took control of a strategic town in western Syria this week, a key target in a battle strategy to sever links between territory held by Daesh terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress on Thursday.

    "Capable and motivated local forces supported by the US and our global coalition have reclaimed territory surrounding the eastern Syrian town of Shaddadi," Carter told the US House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. "It is a critical ISIL [Daesh] base for command and control, logistics, training and oil revenues."

    By encircling and taking Shaddadi, Carter added, the United States "is seeking to sever the last major northern artery between Raqqa and Mosul and ultimately dissect the parent tumor into two parts, one in Iraq and the other in Syria."

    Anti-ISIL airstrikes
    © AP Photo / Senior Airman Matthew Bruch, US Air Force
    Prior to reaching Shaddadi, units of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took control of 47 villages along the route linking the cities of Raqqa and Mosul, the respective Syrian and Iraqi capitals of Daesh’s self-proclaimed caliphate, Sputnik news reported earlier.

    Apart from its logistical importance, Ash-Shaddadi sits in a major oil producing area.

    At midnight Saturday, a temporary truce between the Syrian government and opposition negotiated by the United States and Russia, is slated to begin. However the truce does not apply to battles against Daesh, also known as the Islamic State, a terrorist group outlawed in Russia, the United States and several other countries.


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