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  • Flares are seen in the sky during fighting in the Islamic State

    Flares are seen in the sky during fighting in the Islamic State's final enclave, in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria March 11, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 March 2019

More than one hundred ISIS soldiers are controlling the village of Baghouz and about 10 000 people have left the enclave since February 20

The Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS) launched an attack on the last enclave of the Islamic State in Eastern Syria, with the help of the coalition forces. 

On Sunday, regular bombardment from coalition warplanes targeted the enclave at Baghouz in  Deir Ez Zor province, a Reuters journalist in Baghouz said. SDF and coalition planes were involved in the assault, and the militant camp is now on fire.

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The SDF announced earlier that its fighters advanced slowly in order to avoid losses and were encountering sniper fire, landmines and munitions. The US-backed SDF has made “small advances”, killing and wounding many jihadist fighters said Adnan Afrin, an SDF commander. He added the SDF was advancing slowly because it wanted to finish off the campaign with minimal losses.

More than one hundred ISIS soldiers are controlling the village of Baghouz and about 10 000 people have left the enclave since February 20. "There are a large number of fighters who are inside and do not want to surrender," said the SDF commander. 

The defeat of Islamic State at Baghouz will mark a turning point in the fight against ISIS in both Syria and Irak and will end its control of a territory where it remains strong since 2014  where it declared a caliphate.

However, Islamic state fighters remain in small pockets of Baghouz. The armed group is still active in both countries. 

 

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