Mazloum Kobani, SDF commander-in-chief, announces ISIL’s defeat in Deir Az Zor [Rodi Said/Reuters]
After years of fighting, it was finally time to dance.
As their commanders on Saturday declared final victory over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), the soldiers of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) unfurled their yellow flag atop a bullet-ridden building in celebration.
They danced the Dabke, a folk dance, and embraced, though with tears in their eyes for the loss of 11,000 fellow fighters killed in the long war against ISIL.
Mazloum Kobani, general commander of the US-backed Kurdish-led forces, appeared on a stage erected at the Omar oilfields near Baghouz – ISIL’s last enclave in eastern Syria and the site of heavy battles in recent weeks