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Backed Syrian force launches 'final battle' against IS

Backed Syrian force launches 'final battle' against IS”

US President Donald Trump predicted that the once-sprawling proto-state's official death could be proclaimed as early as next week but operations have been paused for days on the main front line.

Back in December 2018, Trump announced a plan to withdraw the US military in Syria, . a decision that unsettled its allies at the time.

"Rest assured, we'll do what it takes to defeat every ounce and every last person within the ISIS madness" he said, using another acronym for IS.

Special Operations forces working alongside the SDF fighters will be particularly keen on establishing whether any key Islamic State leaders are still holed up in Baghouz, including perhaps the Islamic State's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. U.S.

Jihadists "are attempting to escape through intermixing with the innocent women and children attempting to flee the fighting", coalition deputy commanding general Christopher Ghika was quoted as saying.

"We are seeking a political solution in Syria, which requires an agreement with the government in Damascus".

It said US-led coalition's warplanes are giving cover to advancing SDF fighters.

The December announcement of a United States troop pullout from Syria has seen Kurdish authorities scrambling to mend fences with the regime in Damascus.

He said: "The battle will be launched this evening and its mission will be to eliminate the last remnants of the terrorist organisation". But activists and residents say IS still has sleeper cells in Syria and Iraq, and is laying the groundwork for an insurgency.

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.

Bali told AFP that around 600 IS fighters are still inside the pocket, majority die-hard foreign fighers.

The Observatory said 12 ISIS gunmen attacked the SDF and clashed with them for several hours until most of the attackers were killed early on Saturday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said since the SDF began its offensive against ISIS in the area on September 10, about 1279 ISIS gunmen and 678 SDF fighters have been killed.

"ISIS isn't finished yet", one commander said this week. "There's been a total lack of transparency, and bad things happen in the dark", HRW's counterterrorism director, Nadim Houry, told AFP.



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