Daesh's Syria-Iraq communication lines smashed

A member of the Iraqi paramilitary Popular Mobilisation units, with 'Daesh' written on his boots, takes part in a military operation in the village of Albu Ajil, near the city of Tikrit, to regain control of the area from militants of Daesh, on March 9, 2015. (AFP)

Forces fighting the Daesh group have cut critical communication and supply lines used by the extremists between Syria and Iraq after a two-week operation, the US-led coalition said Tuesday.

Backed by air strikes, the forces "overcame Daesh resistance" in northeastern Syria near the strategic town of Tal Hamis - once an Daesh stronghold - and "denied the terrorist group its freedom of maneuver in the area," the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement.

During the operation, which ended Saturday, the Daesh group lost access to primary travel routes it has previously used to move personnel and materials into Iraq.

"Anti-Daesh forces were able to seize critical portions of route 47 in Syria, a key Daesh  communications and supply line leading into Iraq," it added, noting that 94 villages were freed from the clutches of the extremists.

The coalition said "multiple" Daesh weapons systems, vehicles and fighting positions were also destroyed.

"This operation demonstrated the ability of anti-Daesh forces to further degrade Daesh influence in this region," Combined Joint Task Force commander Lieutenant General James Terry said in a statement.

"The determination of these anti-Daesh forces and our precision air strikes enabled us to deny Daesh this key terrain in Syria."

Kurdish forces seized Tal Hamis on February 27 with the help of Arab fighters, but fighting then continued in the area.

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