SDF advances in the Deir ez-Zor desert like a storm

As the Operation Cizire Storm left 74 days behind, SDF forces continue their advance in the Deir ez-Zor desert like a storm.

At the current point in the Deir ez-Zor operation, which started with night operations, the morning operations also deliver heavy blows to ISIS gangs now. SDF fighters had worked hard to ensure safe passage into the SDF controlled areas, maintain security in liberated zones, strengthening the defense areas and carrying out clean-up operations, and they continue to advance swiftly while overcoming all obstacles they encounter in the Deir ez-Zor operation.

On top of attack operations to liberate hundreds of villages, hamlets and areas along the Euphrates River from ISIS gangs, the SDF forces create special security points to ensure the safety of civilians in the area and provide civilians with food and clothing.


The desert goes on for kilometers, scorching hot during the day and freezing cold in the night. In especially these winter months, just staying in the desert requires much resilience. On one hand they have the ISIS attacks and hours long civilian rescue operations and on the other the smothering heat of the daytime and the chilling, humid air in the night. ISIS gangs consider the sand storms an opportunity for intense attacks and infiltration operations, and it takes hours in the open landscape to travel from one position to the next. There are countless hardships involved with an operation in the desert.

SDF fighters overcome all difficulties they encounter in the Deir ez-Zor desert with their comradery and their faith in victory. In the step by step liberation operation against ISIS, they continue their advance like a sand storm.


In the positions made of sand that the fighters call “satır”, we joined many meals. You can’t visit the positions and not sit down to eat with them. When young faces darkened by the desert sun smile and invite you to their humble table, it’s impossible to refuse.


Like in all operations in Rojava, YPJ fighters are leading in the foremost frontlines, in battle coordination and in all areas of battle from logistics to transportation. Especially in desert areas where ISIS attacks often, they hold the positions made of sand and earth known as “satır” and use all their means from Kalashnikovs to heavy weapons to retaliate gang attacks and they manage to void all of them. YPJ fighters and their battle in the fore fronts continue to pose an example for the women of the world.


The low visibility in the Deir ez-Zor desert gives ISIS an opportunity for attack. In the endless dry land, noticing the gangs attempting to approach SDF positions behind the sand hills is vital. In harsh desert conditions, due to long hours standing watch and a lack of technical equipment and night vision systems, SDF fighters stand watch with their fingers on the trigger all day to keep the gangs at bay.


Another epic aspect of the victory in Deir ez-Zor and the labor of the fighters is comradery, sharing and the undying friendship. SDF fighters provide each other with support and friendship in both life and in the positions to overcome all hardships they encounter.

Walking among fighters’ positions, one first notices the fighters sleeping on the ground with just one blanket. Fighters who stand watch or advance in the desert throughout the night turn in to rest and their comrades take over the watch, while they sleep on the ground. Just seeing this in the positions in Deir ez-Zor lets one know the people’s spirit of resistance, struggle and loyalty to their land.

The little talks around the fires they build during the night are the most beautiful moments that immortalize the ties between fighters. They sing and dance even in the foremost fronts, their united hearts filled with love know no bounds, hardship or lack of resources.