Syria: SDF militia predicts ISIS' last fight to end imminently

Sergio Conner
March 15, 2019

This comes after the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an attack to retake the last ISIS stronghold in Syria.

"Once our forces confirm that everyone who wants to surrender has done so, ... the clashes will resume", he said, noting that the defeat of the terrorists is "very close".

But an audio recording purported to be made by ISIS has been broadcast online calling for revenge across the globe as the last desperate fighters declared they were the victims of holocaust.

"In this small area, for you to make a large advance, you will have to have a lot of casualties", Afrin told The Associated Press late Tuesday.

SDF official Mustafa Bali said on Twitter on Tuesday that the number of Islamic State members who had surrendered has risen to 3,000.

Bali added that three Yazidi women and four children had been rescued as well.

The US-led coalition said it was continuing strikes against IS positions "day and night", allowing the militants no freedom of movement.

The SDF said on Tuesday that the battle for Baghouz, a collection of hamlets and farmland near the Iraqi border, was as good as over.

Sherif, the unit commander, said his force was preparing to storm the jihadist redoubt.

An SDF official told AFP that IS fighters "launched two counterattacks today - one in the morning and another in the afternoon". "So, to preserve the lives of our fighters and to complete this battle while minimizing losses, we are slowing down our advance for the safety and security of our forces".

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The president has previously said that USA -backed forces have retaken "100%" of the territory once claimed by isis in Syria.

Another SDF official said 38 jihadists had been confirmed killed.

He said US-backed forces clashed with jihadists on several fronts, killing almost 40 IS fighters.

According to reports from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a NGO based in the United Kingdom with a dense network of informers in the area, nearly 59,000 people have fled from the last stronghold of the Caliphate in Syria since last December.

It said they were reaching the camp in a worse state than before.

However, UN sources say that the flow of refugees going to the reception centers in the north of the area seem to have decreased in recent days compared to the previous weeks.

The SDF has shipped most people fleeing the wreckage of Daesh's rule over recent weeks to al-Hol in northeast Syria where some 65,000 people now live in a camp that the United Nations says was built to house 20,000.

But beyond Baghouz, IS retains a presence in eastern Syria's vast Badia desert and sleeper cells in the northeast. It finally resumed the attack on Sunday, backed by coalition air strikes.

"If we had thousands of kilometers and now we only have some kilometers left, it is said we have lost - but God's judging standard is different", said a man named Abu Abdel Adheem in the video.

"The battles are not over", he said, sitting on the ground in a circle with two men and a young boy in a hooded jacket.

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