With Syrian Army in Qamishli Frontline against ISIS + Video

Thu Nov 13, 2014 20:02:28

The city and region of Qamishli in the far northeastern desert of Syria on the border with Turkey and close to Iraq has become an important strategic front in the Syrian military's fight against IS forces.

The city was under IS control for quite some time before a recent operation by the Syrian military has managed to push IS to back off 22 kilometers.

The military goal is to create a safety buffer zone around the city. Now the Syrian military recapture the city, but the area straddles the territory controlled by so-called Islamic State (IS) fighters and is a major route for IS supplies traveling into Iraq and Syria.

The Syrian Army's 54th airborne regiment controls the area surrounding Qamishli to the south, but protecting the territory is not an easy task.

An officer with the Syrian National Defense Force said the troops had been hit by long-range weapons fired by IS terrorists.

The Syrian government counts on getting more recruits into the pro-government militias of the National Defense Forces to hold the newly acquired areas.

The region of fertile agricultural land and rich oil resources has a complicated ethnic and sectarian population and is inhabited by a large Christian community.

Since the initial outbreak of fighting forced local residents to flee, some farmers have returned to their fields in Qamishli.

Tractors are now making their way into the fertile agricultural land. Planting crops is an act of faith by the farmers, who hope peace will prevail here long enough for them to see a harvest.

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