Islamic State terrorists surrender to US-backed forces in Syria


Baghouz - Islamic State was close to defeat in its final enclave on Tuesday after ferocious bombardments overnight and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the offensive to capture the area is almost over.

Dozens of SDF fighters massed at the entrance of the village of Baghouz on Tuesday evening.

US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces say that troops started "to move militarily" against ISIS Sunday.

Raddatz also referenced comments from Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of United States troops in the Middle East, made to the House Armed Services Committee last week, in which he urged, despite the president's victorious claim, "the fight against ISIS and violent extremism is far from over".

Airstrikes and shelling have pummelled Baghouz for two nights in a row, killing scores of fighters and prompting hundreds of jihadists and their relatives to surrender.

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

The SDF resumed the attack on Sunday.

The official said the Kurd-led force was pounding jihadists with heavy artillery to hamper the offensive, which IS launched from several fronts following fierce clashes on Tuesday night.

"Certainly, in conversations this past week with my British and French counterparts, I'm very optimistic that they're going to participate", he told ABC News yesterday. "This could be their final attack".

"The second one was much stronger" and was launched under the cover of smoke caused by bombing, he said.

Amid the rubble, three SDF fighters lobbed a salvo of mortar shells towards the IS pocket, hours after the IS counterattack at daybreak under the cover of a dust storm.

More news: Slack mobile app gets its own 'dark mode' in latest update
More news: Toyota bringing 450 new jobs to Huntsville engine manufacturing plant
More news: Man City could force Man Utd to host Champions League quarter-final

On a hilltop overlooking the embattled village on Monday night, an AFP correspondent saw a blaze ravaging the riverside encampment.

Delil, an SDF fighter, said: "Today, the sandstorm is to their benefit but all coming days are ours".

But the Kurdish-led fighters and their US-led coalition backers were forced to again dial down the push early last week, as thousands more dusty women, children and men streamed out of the dying "caliphate".

The US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Tuesday that it had eliminated nearly 40 members of the Daesh* terrorist organisation in the southeastern Syrian village of Baghuz but lost three militias during the ensuing clashes.

"The battle is ongoing and the final hour is now closer than ever", he said on Twitter.

Another SDF official said 38 jihadists had been confirmed killed.

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

Explosions shook the IS pocket as large fires tore through a cluster of tents and buildings.

Washington does not believe any senior Islamic State leaders are in Baghouz, assessing they have gone elsewhere as part of the group's shift towards an insurgency, a USA defence official has said.

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.

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