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How Islamic State returned to haunt civilians in northeast Syria

Remnants and cells of the Islamic State have recently increased their attacks against the Syrian Democratic Forces and civilians in the areas under the SDF control in northeast Syria.
TOPSHOT - A masked guard keeps watch as trucks transports Syrians leaving the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp holding relatives of alleged Islamic State (IS) group fighters, in the al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria, on November 24, 2020. - A Kurdish official in charge of the region's camps, said 515 people from 120 families were returning to areas in the east of Deir Ezzor province, the first to do so after the Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria vowed to allow thousands of Syrians including the famil

The provinces of Deir ez-Zor, Hasakah and Raqqa, and the Manbij area in the countryside of Aleppo, which are under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have been subject to a series of attacks by the Islamic State (IS) over the past few weeks. These attacks, carried out by IS-affiliated cells and locals who previously fought with IS, are targeting civilians and SDF members in those areas

IS has stepped up its operations in early 2020 after having faded away since losing its last strongholds in eastern Deir ez-Zor on March 23, 2019. These operations included directly attacking checkpoints and patrols, assassinating SDF members or collaborators, and planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the roads.

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