ISIS under the microscope of the SDF, waiting for the hour of zero

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UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Scores of meters from the last point of the Syrian Democratic Forces in the town of Al-Bagouz, the banner of the black and white Islamic state is topped by a building whose walls have been penetrated by bullets. Around it, a few men who are likely to be fighters and women are wandering among random tents.

From an advanced point for the Syrian Democratic Forces in the town, an AFP team was able to inspect the last pocket of the extremist organization along the Euphrates River.

“We are now in the Baguoz camp. We are dozens of meters away from this, this is our nearest point,” said fighter Ahmed Sayan, 24, as he pointed to men in light-colored robes, likely to be fighters.

“With the sunrise, the civilians are trying to advance … but there is a sniper from the organization trying to target them back,” said the brown-skinned fighter. “Jihadists want to prevent civilians from coming out of the besieged spot.

Last weekend, the Syrian Democratic Forces managed to advance and control a small part of the camp surrounded by agricultural land, before stopping operations to bring more civilians trapped with the group’s fighters.

“We managed to pull some civilians out of the camp and let them go,” he said. “We captured an Emirati who tried to infiltrate us on Saturday, but we went around him.”

The fighting has stopped on the front lines a week ago after Syria’s democratic forces slowed down operations.

In the place where the AFP team is inspecting, traces of the elements of the Islamic state and their families are likely to be seen in the tents they have vacated on the progress of their opponents.

– Fits and explosive belts –

Inside one of the tents, pots and pans and bags are still on the ground. And near it were ashes from the remnants of fire used for cooking, in addition to the drilling does not exceed a depth of meters, surrounded by blankets on each side, taken by the besieged shelter.

Flies are hovering in the place: a saw here, a blue baby sweater there, a washing machine and a firewood, as well as electric bars, cupboards and cooking pans …

The fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces are taken from a small building in the camp, which appears to have been a field hospital used by the organization, with many medicines and medical equipment.

Among the abandoned tents are trenches and clothes lying on the ground or hanging on burning trees, ammunition, bullets, shells and explosive belts, as well as strollers and computers.

Since December, tens of thousands of women, children and men have left the enclave in eastern Syria. Some of them fled the battles and the siege, and others were evacuated in buses and trucks.

Every time a new batch of thousands of people were released, the Syrian Democratic Forces thought that their last attack was imminent and that the end of the Islamic Caliphate was imminent. It turned out that thousands of civilians and fighters were still at home.

Black smoke rises from the camp’s control area, and one of the fighters is likely to be the result of jihadists burning tires. Shortly after, the sound of an explosion is not clear whether it was caused by a landmine or a shell.

Despite the cessation of hostilities, sporadic clashes are taking place from time to time, with the Syrian Democratic Forces and the international coalition led by Washington targeting the raids and artillery, the movements of the jihadists.

Near the last point where the Syrian Democratic forces are stationed, AFP journalists saw burning machine structures, one of which belonged to a huge truck, and fighters say it was an ammunition depot that was detonated 10 days ago and caused two days of full-blown fire.

“Everywhere we go, we have an explosive belt or two, but I found here 10 to 15 explosive belts in different sizes,” says Shifan al-Hasakah, a Syrian-Syrian fighter in his twenties.

Syrian Democratic Forces fighters warn of mines planted everywhere.

Militants say that when they entered this part of the camp, they found “weapons, ammunition and bodies of alarm.” One of them points to a hole where a water tank has been placed and surrounded by a burning carpet, saying, “They were hiding their weapons here.”

The Syrian Democratic Forces fighters today are satisfied with their near victory, hoping that the battle will end quickly after the end of the exit of civilians, whether through the surrender of the fighters of the organization or a military attack.

As calm prevails, a Syrian Democratic Forces fighter begins to sing a popular proverb: “If the heart melts, will I join you?”

“They have only the camp, they have lost,” says another fighter, Shivan. “The battle is settled and now subject to the status quo.”

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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