July 24 (UPI) -- The Syrian Democratic Forces, fighting the Islamic State and other militias in Syria, was singled out for praise on Friday by the U.S. Defense Department.
The Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve on Friday said that SDF partners had detained 69 IS members and uncovered multiple weapons and ammunitions caches over the last month.
In an operations update, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Kenneth P. Ekman, deputy commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said the success in defeats against IS is built on the triumphs of predecessors and Iraqi and Syrian partners.
''The ISF [internal security forces] continues to prove their capabilities as a cohesive force, even in complex operations,'' he said. "They showed outstanding cooperation among the Iraqi army, Federal Police intelligence service and anti-terrorism troops in clearing ISIS hideouts in remote areas."
Ekman, speaking over a live satellite feed from Baghdad, noted that IS no longer controls physical territory in Syria.
SDF personnel, advised by SOJTF-OIR, completed its largest anti-IS mission in June, officials said, capturing the 69 IS members and weapons and ammunition caches across over 1,400 square miles of Syrian territory.
SDF also cooperated with Iraqi security personnel with intelligence sharing and synchronization of operations, U.S. Army Central Command officials said.
"The SDF successfully planned and executed this operation against [IS] with very little assistance from the coalition," said Brig. Gen. Guillaume Beaurpere, SOJTF-OIR Commanding General.
"Not only did they demonstrate an ability to synchronize effects over a large swath of northeast Syria, their operation further degraded the limited capabilities of [IS] remnants in the region," Beaurpere said.
In March, the SDF regained control of the al-Sina'ah Prison in Hasakah after it was overtaken by IS inmates.
Troops including the Syrian Democratic Forces pursue Islamic State members in Deir Ezzor, Syria. Photo courtesy of SDF