Final ISIS Stronghold Reportedly Liberated

Blanche Robertson
March 21, 2019

According to Thursday reports, the last ISIS stronghold in Syria has been liberated and the caliphate has been fully conquered.

Holding a map in his hand, Trump said that "we're leaving 200 people there, and 200 people in another place in Syria, closer to Israel".

The long-running battle to retake the last outpost held by IS in eastern Syria appeared to have reached its conclusion, with no signs of battle Wednesday, although officials said a few remaining IS militants still had not surrendered. "(Was even worse in November 2016 before I took office)", Trump tweeted on Wednesday (local time).

Reuters reporters overlooking Baghouz from a hill on the bank of the Euphrates at the Iraqi border said the area was calm, and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia searched for tunnels and landmines, an SDF official said.

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that ISIS will be "gone by tonight", in an announcement he made on the White House South Lawn ahead of a visit to Ohio.

He showed off maps that illustrate the dramatic shrinking of territory held by the jihadist group in the period from his election in 2016 and now.

Trump says ISIS will be 'gone by tonight'

There is a "tiny spot which will be gone by tonight", he added. For the past four years, US -led forces have waged a destructive campaign against the group.

The battle for Baghouz has dragged on for weeks and the encampment had proven a major battleground, with tents covering foxholes and underground tunnels.

It warned the group could resurge in Syria within six to 12 months and regain limited territory without sustained pressure. Black smoke was rising from the village.

The siege has also been slowed by the unexpectedly large number of civilians in Baghuz, majority families of IS members.

A column of smoke from operations by USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) head out on an operation in Baghouz, the Islamic State group's last pocket of territory in Syria, Wednesday, March 20, 2019. The sheer number who emerged - almost 30,000 since early January, according to Kurdish officials - took the SDF by surprise.

Kurdish-led fighters advance on last IS bastion in eastern Syria
Mustafa Bali says the suspects were captured following technical surveillance by the group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. Hundreds of injured and sick suspected IS militants were captured during the SDF's push for control of the encampment, he said.

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