Islamic state fighters cling to their last pocket in eastern Syria

File AFP

SYRIA (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The Islamic State is clinging to the last dominant spot in the town of Al-Bagouz on the banks of the Euphrates River in eastern Syria on Friday in the face of an attack by Syrian Democratic Forces designed to stamp out the remaining “succession” announced by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi four years ago and shrunk to a few hundred square kilometers.

In recent days, thousands of men, women and children have come out of the organization’s control zone after Syria’s democracy forces, backed by the Washington-led international coalition, have slowed the pace of operations since Sunday night to clear the way for civilians to leave. But there are those who still refuse to surrender and fight.

On March 1, Kurdish and Arab factions launched their latest offensive against jihadists in the town of Baguoz after two weeks of evacuations.

The organization, which announced in 2014 the establishment of an “Islamic Caliphate” in large areas controlled by Syria and neighboring Iraq estimated the size of Britain, suffered large field losses during the past two years after years in which he was terrorized by his hard-line and brutal attacks. At present, his presence is limited to a spot inside the town of Al-Bagouz in the eastern village of Deir Al-Zour.

Video footage obtained by Agence France Presse from the Free Burma Rangers, a US non-governmental relief organization, showed scenes of the camp where the jihadis are staying in the Baguoz. A piece of land can be seen on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, Cars and vans. There are also modest buildings, mostly without a roof, and tents with colorful blankets.

Syria’s democratic forces encircle the Baguz from both the north and the west, while the Syrian regime is deployed south on the West Bank of the Euphrates, and Iraqi forces and popular mobilization factions eastward on the opposite side of the border.

In the videos you can also see people moving in the middle of an informal residence on foot or on motorcycles, and a black cow on a patch of dry grass. A few meters from the river, where a thick layer of reed grew, a number of people sat behind a brick wall with concrete stones.

– Wounded and crying children –

Syria’s democratic forces are waiting for the evacuation of all civilians to resume their battle that would prelude the declaration of the end of the caliphate.

Since Sunday, more than 7,000 people have left, according to Syrian Democratic forces.

At the counting point of the Syrian Democratic Forces near Baguoz, an AFP journalist saw on Thursday a number of exiles from the town undergoing searches and questioning.

In the middle of the desert, women stood in long lines carrying bags and bags waiting for inspection. While others sat in groups on blankets in the dust and dust, along with children of all ages whose bodies looked skinny and dirty, some of them crying and screaming.

Women and children are being transported to camps in the northeast of the country, most notably the Hull camp, while men suspected of being jihadists are sent to detention centers.

Among the men, many were wounded, some on crutches, a mobile family or a mobile book, while others wore bandages on their heads or feet.

Syria’s democratic forces, supported by the Washington-led international coalition since September, have launched an offensive against the last enclave of the organization in eastern Syria.

On the impact of the military’s progress, some 58,000 people have left the organization since December, including more than six thousand fighters arrested, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

– “Unrepentant” –

“The destruction of the Khilafah + base is a huge military achievement, but the end of the fighting against the fanaticism and violent extremism is still far away, and our mission is still,” said US military commander in the Middle East, General Joseph Fotel, she”.

He stressed that the fighters and families of the organization “are still mostly extremists and non-repentant or broken, and we must continue the attack.”

On December 19, US President Donald Trump abruptly decided to withdraw the 1,000-strong US troops based in Syria as soon as possible, asserting that the Islamic state was defeated.

The White House later announced that the US military would keep for some time about 200 soldiers in Syria “for peacekeeping”.

“What we are seeing today is not a surrender to the organization of the Islamic state as an organization, but a calculated decision for the jihadists to preserve the safety and capabilities of their families,” he said.

The next phase of the conflict would be with a “disorganized organization” whose leaders and elements were hiding behind the curtain but still acting ideologically.

The battle against the organization of the Islamic state is now one of the main fronts in the Syrian conflict, which has resulted in more than 360,000 dead and millions of displaced people and refugees since 2011.

The resolution of the battle in Deir al-Zour does not mean the end of the danger of organization, in light of its ability to move dormant cells in liberated areas and spread in the vast Syrian desert.

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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