The final battle to dislodge ISIS from northeast Syria was both fierce and methodical. US troops and their local partners, backed by heavy air bombardment, advanced across the country’s northeast, an area known as Mid-Euphrates River Valley. One by one, towns and villages controlled by ISIS fell against the onslaught. The terrorist group, which once controlled an area the size of Britain, now held only a single village.
On March 23, 2019, following intense village-by-village fighting, Baghuz, a dusty town near the border with Iraq and the caliphate’s last toehold in the Middle East, finally fell—and with it, the territorial aspirations of ISIS. Unfortunately, the extremist ideology is far from defeated. Not surprisingly, ISIS has reverted back to its insurgency roots, launching attacks in Syria and Iraq that are designed to stoke sectarian tensions and undermine local governance. As before, the ensuing chaos could open the door for the group’s resurgence.
The most effective way to prevent ISIS 2.0 is to promote good governance and deny the group the chance to tear apart communities. SoA is helping do just that.
Working closely with deployed US teams, SoA is supporting a medical clinic in Hajin, one of the last towns once controlled by ISIS. The “Train Station Clinic,” as its being called because it occupies a defunct railroad depot, will provide medical care for local citizens regardless of their background or circumstance. The facility is a testament to American compassion and generosity. But, it’s more than a gesture of goodwill. The clinic establishes a bond between local authorities and citizens, reaffirming mutual trust and responsibilities.
One by one, projects like the Train Station Clinic form the building blocks of resilient communities that can withstand ISIS incursions and provide for their citizens. With your help, we can deliver urgently needed aid and advance the prospects of enduring peace for a people who are desperately yearning for it.