Paramilitary troops free 11 SDF soldiers held by Islamic State on Iraqi-Syrian borders

A Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter cries as medics treat his comrades injured by sniper fired by Islamic State militants in a field hospital in Raqqa, Syria June 28, 2017. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

Anbar ( The pro-government paramilitary troops have rescued eleven Syrian soldiers on borders with Syria, a deputy commander said in a statement on Monday.

“Based on instructions from the leadership of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) at west of Anbar, troops, along with the Iraqi border guards, released the eleven soldiers of the Syrian Democratic Forces, who were held by Islamic State,” Ahmed Nasrallah, deputy commander of the 13th brigade, said in the statement.

After intervention by backing forces from the artillery and air force, “the attackers were eliminated, while others escaped,” he said adding that regions that were held by IS are now under control of the PMFs and the border guards.

In December, the Iraqi Defense Ministry denied coordination between Iraq and SDF.

Islamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses threat against stability in the country.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced, in December, full liberation of Iraqi lands, declaring end of war against IS members.

Thousands of IS militants as well as Iraqi civilians were killed since the government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and the coalition was launched in October 2016 to fight the militant group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014.

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