The General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the beginning of a new phase in the fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) after the announcement of its total territorial defeat in Syria, speaking from the al-Omar oil field base in eastern Syria on Saturday.

"We announce to the international public opinion and our allies our need to provide more support in order to begin a new phase in the fight against terrorism," said SDF Commander-in-Chief Maslum Kobane.

"Through continuous precise military and security operations in coordination with the international coalition forces, with an aim to completely eliminate the hidden military presence of ISIS organisation sleeper cells."

"We honour the sacrifices and the valour of the Syrian Democratic Forces in achieving this victory and express condolences for the many lives lost in the campaign," said former US Ambassador to Bahrain and adviser for the US State Department in northern Syria William Robak.

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