ISIS terrorist caught hiding in a field by a drone as bird's-eye footage shows capture

Newly released combat footage from Syria shows the moment a fleeing suspected ISIS member puts his hands in the air after being chased down by a drone. Video released by the Syrian Defence Force (SDF) shows a man running from a property in North East Syria to hide in a field as security forces conducted raids on ISIS cells.

But the suspect finds no hiding place in the wheat field and is suddenly illuminated by a bright spotlight from a drone hovering above. Moments later the man can be seen putting his hands up in the air.

Further footage in the video shows members of the US-backed coalition and SDF forces surrounding a compound.

Heavily armed troops can be seen rounding up a ground of suspected ISIS cell members before being pictured with the arrested prisoners against a wall.

An SDF statement said the operation, codenamed al-Jazeera Thunderbolt, was launched alongside the International Coalition to eliminate ISIS cells carrying out attacks on prison camps holding terrorists and their families.

The SDF said: “On December 29, at 1:00am, our forces, with the participation of the Internal Security Forces of NE Syria and the International Coalition against ISIS, launched Operation al-Jazeera Thunderbolt to eliminate ISIS terrorist cells and clear the terrorist hotbeds from areas that were the source of the recent terrorist attacks against the al-Hol camp, al-Hasaka and south of Qamishli and that could be source for possible attacks, specifically the al-Hol area and Tal Hamis.”

The SDF statement continued that operations against ISIS had been ramped up against a backdrop of “continuous Turkish threats and attacks on the regions of NE Syria”.

It said: “ISIS has escalated its terrorist attacks against the region’s population, especially communities that challenge ISIS’ extremist ideology, including our societies governed by tribal measures.

“Therefore, over the past period in which our forces were preoccupied with confronting the Turkish occupation attacks, ISIS terrorist cells resorted to propagating their brutality again by increasing their criminal activity, practicing takfir (the excommunication of one Muslim from the religion by another), and publishing posters and leaflets threatening all those participating in removing the ISIS effects and restoring life to their communities.

“Over the past period, ISIS cells have increased the arming and financing activity by imposing zakat (collecting money) and carrying out terrorist attacks.”

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On Wednesday Moscow announced Turkish, Syrian Assad regime and Russian defense ministers have held previously unannounced talks in Moscow. It was the first ministerial level meeting between rivals Turkey and Syria since the start of the Syrian conflict 11 years ago.

A Turkish defense ministry statement said the Turkish, Syrian and Russian intelligence chiefs also attended the talks in Moscow which, it said, took place in a “positive atmosphere.”

The discussion focused on “the Syrian crisis, the refugee problem and efforts for a joint struggle against terror organizations present on Syrian territory,” the ministry said. It added that the sides would continue to hold trilateral meetings.

President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian forces do not control all of the country, with the north and east falling under different authorities. The Syrian Defence Force (SDF), which mostly consists of Kurds, covers much of northeastern Syria and has been under attack from Turkish forces. 

The talks in Moscow follow repeated warnings by Turkey of a new land incursion into Syria after a deadly bombing in Istanbul last month. Turkish authorities blamed the attack on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and on the Syria-based People’s Protection Units, or YPG. Both groups denied involvement.

Russia has opposed a new Turkish military offensive.

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