IS resists ‘final push’ by US-backed force in eastern Syria
DAMASCUS, FEB 10 (DNA) -US-backed fighters in Syria said on Sunday they are meeting fierce resistance in the last enclave held by Islamic State (IS) militants near the Iraqi border.
A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told the media “the most experienced” jihadists are defending their last stronghold.
Two years ago IS controlled large areas of Syria and Iraq. But they are now holed up in a tiny pocket in Syria’s eastern province of Deir al-Zour, near the Iraqi border.
On Saturday, after a pause of more than a week to allow some 20,000 civilians to leave the area, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said the group was launching the “final battle to crush IS” in the border village of Baghuz.
“The battle is very fierce. Those remaining inside are the most experienced who are defending their last stronghold. According to this you can imagine the ferocity and size of the fighting.”
At its peak in 2014, IS established a “caliphate” stretching across Syria and Iraq that was similar in size to the UK and ruled over more than 7.7 million people.
In December, US President Donald Trump said IS militants were “mostly gone” and announced the US would withdraw all of its 2,000 troops from Syria.=DNA
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