US-backed forces were locked in fierce fighting as they pressed the battle against the last shred of the Islamic State group's "caliphate" in eastern Syria on Sunday, a war monitor said.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said on Saturday it had begun the “final battle” to oust the Islamic State group from the last scrap of territory it holds in eastern Syria.
BEIRUT - Recent gains by Kurdish-led forces in Syria have shrunk the Islamic State (IS) group's "caliphate" to less than one percent of its original size, the US-led coalition said on Thursday.
Eight women and one elderly man were also among the civilians killed while trying to flee towards the Iraqi border, said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Backed by air strikes by the US-led coalition against IS, the Kurdish-Arab alliance has in recent months cornered the jihadists in a final patch of territory in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.
Backed by air strikes of the US-led coalition against IS, the Kurdish-Arab alliance has in recent months cornered the jihadists in a final pocket of territory in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor.
President Donald Trump, who is planning to pull U.S. forces out of Syria, said on Wednesday he expected a formal announcement as early as this week that the coalition had reclaimed all the territory previously held by Islamic State.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on Saturday launched a final push to expel IS fighters from the sole remaining morsel of the proto-state they declared in 2014 across parts of Syria and Iraq.
Coalition jets roared overhead as columns of white smoke rose from the Islamic State-held Baghouz area a short distance from the Iraqi border, a Reuters witness said.
He said in the last 10 days SDF fighters had handled the battle “patiently” as more than 20,000 civilians were evacuated from the besieged enclave comprising two villages near the Iraqi border.
Jets roared in the sky and the sound of an explosion rang out from Baghouz, the last village in the area that is partly in Islamic State hands, a Reuters witness said.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said on Saturday it had begun the "final battle" to oust the Islamic State group from the last scrap of territory it holds in eastern Syria.
Both countries have suffered for years at the hands of the Islamic State group and Iraqi courts have already meted out hefty sentences to hundreds of foreigners detained on its soil, often after lighting-quick trials.
The conference comes amid behind-the-scenes efforts to manage the unintended consequences of the US pullout, including keeping peace between Turkey and Kurdish fighters and finding a solution for hundreds of foreign jihadists jailed in Syria who W...