Published: Thu, March 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump Says IS Territory in Syria Nearly Eliminated

Trump Says IS Territory in Syria Nearly Eliminated

"While the official announcement hasn't yet been made - Fox News has been told that this village, the last ISIS stronghold, is liberated", reports Fox News.

This comes just hours after President Trump said ISIS would soon be completely destroyed by USA -backed forces in Syria.

For the SDF, it would cap a four-year, US -led military campaign in which its fighters drove ISIS from swathes of northeastern Syria, taking the city of Raqqa after a months-long battle in 2017.

"When I took it over it was a mess".

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said another 2,000 women and children had arrived late on Wednesday at the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria that has received tens of thousands of people who have poured out of the shrinking Islamic State territory. "In fact, there's actually a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight", he said.

Trump held up two maps showing the difference between lands that belonged to ISIS in 2016's election night versus the lands of the so-called "caliphate" today.

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The U.S. leader declares that by the end of Thursday, "the mission will be complete". But even after Baghouz's fall, IS maintains a scattered presence and sleeper cells that threaten a continuing insurgency.

The group was also forced into retreat by numerous other local and foreign forces roused by its public displays of bloodletting and the attacks it plotted overseas.

It warned the group could resurge in Syria within six to 12 months and regain limited territory without sustained pressure.

The siege has also been slowed by the unexpectedly large number of civilians in Baghouz, a lot of them families of IS members. The SDF has not yet announced a victory over IS.

Associated Press journalists saw SDF soldiers loading women and children into trailer trucks on the hilltop over Baghuz, a sign that evacuations were still underway Wednesday. Black smoke was rising from the village.

From gun trenches in the hills overlooking the Syrian town of Baghuz, US-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF rain down automatic weapons fire on what's left of the Islamic State caliphate. The sheer number who emerged - almost 30,000 since early January, according to Kurdish officials - took the Syrian Democratic Forces by surprise.

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