Share

The Final Push To Defeat ISIS Is Underway

Share

U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian forces said Saturday they have launched a final push to defeat the Islamic State group in the last tiny pocket the extremists hold in eastern Syria.

Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted that the offensive began Saturday after more than 20,000 civilians were evacuated from the IS-held area in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour. An SDF statement said the offensive was focused on the village of Baghouz.

The SDF, backed by U.S. air power, has driven IS from large swaths of territory it once controlled in northern and eastern Syria, confining the extremists to a small pocket of land near the border with Iraq.

Scores of IS fighters are now besieged in two villages, less than one percent of the self-styled caliphate that once sprawled across large parts of Syria and Iraq. In recent weeks, thousands of civilians, including families of IS fighters, left the area controlled by the extremists.

“The decisive battle began tonight to finish what remains of Daesh terrorists,” Bali said, using an Arabic acronym to refer to IS.

Trending:
Trump's Surgeon General Says He Tried to Refinance His Mortgage, But Biden Admin Pulled a Dirty Move to Stop It from Happening

“The battle is very fierce,” he later told The Associated Press. “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.”

Bali did not say how long they expect the battle to last.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said SDF fighters are advancing “cautiously” due to mines planted by IS gunmen. It said U.S.-led coalition warplanes are giving cover to advancing SDF fighters.

U.S. President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday that IS will have lost all of its territory by next week.

Do you think this push will be successful?

“It should be formally announced sometime, probably next week, that we will have 100 percent of the caliphate,” Trump told representatives of the 79-member, U.S.-led coalition fighting IS.

U.S. officials have said in recent weeks that IS has lost 99.5 percent of its territory and is holding onto fewer than 5 square kilometers in Syria, or less than 2 square miles, where the bulk of the fighters are concentrated. But activists and residents say IS still has sleeper cells in Syria and Iraq, and is laying the groundwork for an insurgency. The U.S. military has warned the group could stage a comeback if the military and counterterrorism pressure on it is eased.

The Observatory said that since the SDF began its offensive against IS in the area on Sept. 10, some 1,279 IS gunmen and 678 SDF fighters have been killed. It said 401 civilians, including 144 children and teenagers, have been killed since then.

Earlier Saturday, IS militants attacked SDF fighters near an oil field in the country’s east, triggering airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.

The Observatory said 12 IS gunmen attacked the SDF and clashed with them for several hours until most of the attackers were killed early Saturday. It said 10 attackers were killed, while two managed to flee.

Related:
Biden's Department of Homeland Security Reveals the Fate of Around 12,400 Migrants Who Illegally Crossed the Border

Other activist collectives, including the Step news agency, reported the attack, saying some of the attackers used motorcycles rigged with explosives.

The fighting was concentrated near al-Omar field, Syria’s largest oil field.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , , , , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation