3,000 ISIS Members in Syria Surrender

Baghouz SDF says 2,000 ISIS fighters families surrender as offensive continues

While Baghouz is the last populated territory of what was once the group's self-proclaimed "caliphate", fighters still operate elsewhere.

Fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) check a makeshift camp for Islamic State (IS) group members and their families in the town of Baghouz, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on 9 March 2019.

The capture of Baghouz would be a milestone in the devastating four-year campaign to defeat the group's so-called "caliphate" that once covered a vast territory straddling both Syria and Iraq. "(Islamic State) made no progress so far and were stopped".

Bali said SDF forces had bombarded Baghouz heavily overnight before engaging in direct clashes with IS fighters in the pre-dawn hours.

"IS's final moments have started", SDF official Jiaker Amed told AFP Wednesday.

Despite the attempted counterpunch the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in an evening statement that its fighters had advanced as they conducted "a large-scale attack on terrorist positions".

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Bolton said the president has been "as clear as clear can be" and never declared total victory over ISIS, despite previous declarations of USA victory over the terrorist group.

Another SDF official said 38 jihadists had been confirmed killed.

"There are people handing themselves over now and we have completely halted fire so that they can surrender", he said.

"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".

Beyond the frontline, warplanes were heard rumbling overhead, as the crackle of gunfire rang from the outskirts of the ISIS encampment.

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Rawan, an SDF fighter, tracked one of his shots as it whizzed past a field.

Coalition spokesman Sean Ryan on Wednesday said IS has no room to manoeuvre.

Near the front line on Tuesday night, AFP correspondents saw bright, long streaks of light in the night sky as US-backed forces bombed jihadist outposts.

Since December, nearly 59,000 people have left the last ISIS redoubt, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, around a tenth of them suspected jihadist fighters. "Our forces targeted and killed them before they reached our positions", Bali said.

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 camp, created to accommodate 20,000 people, is now sheltering more than 66,000.

"WFP is deeply concerned about the welfare of tens of thousands of people recently arriving at the Al-Hol camp", it said Tuesday.

Daesh's final enclave in eastern Syria was pounded with air strikes and artillery on Monday in a US-backed assault aimed at wiping out the last shred of its territorial rule that once spanned a third of Syria and Iraq, Reuters reports.

SDF renewed its assault on Sunday after warning remaining IS fighters their time was up.

"Tomorrow, God willing, we will be in paradise and they will be burning in hell", it showed an Islamic State member identified as Abu Abd al-Azeem saying.


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