Dozens of ISIS militants continue to surrender to the SDF every day, even after the fall of Baghouz. They choose to leave the tunnels in Deir Ezzor in order not to die in the attacks of JazeeraStorm/Coalition or of hunger
Dozens of ISIS militiamen continue to surrender to Jazeera Storm’s SDF, despite the battle of Baghouz is over. According to local sources, many jihadists of the Islamic State prefer to leave the tunnels where they hid to give up to the Syrian fighters. The alternative is, in fact, to stay inside with the risk of being killed by the bombing of the Coalition and by hunger (the last food stocks stored underground are over), or attempting to escape from Deir Ezzor in the Middle Euphrates River Valley (MERV). The area, however, is manned by Arab-Kurdish forces and beyond the Euphrates, the Syrian army (SAA) deployed snipers to eliminate anyone who tries to cross the river illicitly. Thus, there are very few chances of surviving even in this eventuality. As a result, the only possibility left is surrender, also hoping then to be repatriated (in the case of foreign fighters).
However, many jihadists of the Islamic State remain in the galleries. Operations are multiplied to find them and stop them before they can reorganize
But, if numerous ISIS militiamen decide to surrender to the SDF, many others still remain hidden in the tunnels in Baghouz. These represent a real risk for the security not only of the SDF, but also of the population. This is why Jazeera Storm has increased the grid checks throughout the province of Deir Ezzor, helped also by international partners. In addition, Inherent Resolve continues to bomb the Daesh tunnels to close them. The objective is to block the jihadists of the Islamic State before they can escape or carry out attacks, reorganizing themselves as guerrilla. There is a high risk, in fact, that they will seek revenge by hitting the easier targets: civilians, both in isolated centers and in large cities.