Backed Syrian force launches 'final battle' against IS

Leroy Wright
February 10, 2019

Bali said there could be up to 600 ISIS fighters still inside the pocket, a lot of them foreigners. While the bounty doesn't explicitly reveal the reason why the veteran foreign terrorist fighter has fallen in disfavour, intelligence officials, cited by The Guardian, suggest that he led the unsuccessful coup attempt aimed against the leader, Sputnk says. "Those remaining inside are the most experienced who are defending their last stronghold".

The remaining ISIS territory in Syria is west of the Euphrates.

The conservative chancellor said monitoring events in Syria was one of the BND's top priorities, which also include tracking cyber threats and fake news created to influence democratic elections.

Four years ago, ISIS controlled territory the size of Britain and administered millions of people, but the United States coalition fighting the group said 99.5% of it has been clawed back in successive offensives.

Speaking at the State Department on Wednesday, Mr Trump said that US-led troops and their Kurdish allies should formally announce the end of the "caliphate" some time next week.

U.S. President Donald Trump says one hundred percent of the territory once held by the ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. will have been officially reclaimed as early as next week.

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The militants maintain sleeper cells, including along the border with Iraq and in cities they once ruled, and have carried out periodic hit-and-run attacks. The US military has warned the group could stage a comeback if the military and counterterrorism pressure on it is eased.

It said 401 civilians, including 144 children and teenagers, have been killed since then.

Earlier on Saturday, IS militants attacked SDF fighters near an oil field in the country's east, triggering air strikes by the US-led coalition.

Jihadists "are attempting to escape through intermixing with the innocent women and children attempting to flee the fighting", coalition deputy commanding general Christopher Ghika was quoted as saying.

The Britain-based war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said SDF fighters were advancing "cautiously" due to mines planted by Isis gunmen.

Other activist collectives, including the Step news agency, reported the attack, saying some of the attackers used motorcycles rigged with explosives.

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