Syrian and Kurdish forces are reportedly engaged in a “fierce battle” for the last territory controlled by ISIS in Syria.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced Sunday its attack on the last village in the region controlled by the Islamic State (IS) in Baghuz. The attack had started the previous day. SDF forces captured 41 positions held by IS, as well as destroying their fortifications, the Associated Press reported Monday.
IS militants reportedly fought back using suicide car bombs, snipers, and traps. (RELATED: ISIS Kills US Troops in Syria)
The SDF is a coalition of Kurds, Arabs, and other ethnic groups which have been fighting in the Syrian civil war, mostly against ISIS.
#SDF have advanced on northern and western axis into Baghuz since 19:00 yesterday evening, capturing 41 positions of ISIS and destroying fortifications. IS counterattack was foiled at 4 am this morning. Heavy fighting is going on inside the last village at the moment.
— Mustafa Bali (@mustefabali) February 10, 2019
The AP reported that there might be hundreds of IS fighters left in the area, but the exact amount is unknown.
According to Kurdistan 24, a Kurdish news agency, the head of the SDF’s media center Mustafa Bali stated that there are about 1,000 civilians left in the town that “are mostly ISIS gangs’ families. But they are civilians nonetheless.”
In the fight leading up to the last village, SDF forces had saved about 20,000 civilians from IS territory. In a tweet on January 30, Bali said that SDF medical teams were giving first aid to any civilians coming out of the town.
Bali noted the outpouring of civilians from the hostile town: “Hundreds still coming out as Daesh is driving its last breath!”
After saving more than 20K civilians from IS-held area and ensuring their safety in nearby camps, #SDF started to move on to the last village remaining under jihadists’ control in N. Syria. Village of Baghuz, which is the only remaining #ISIS pocket, will be cleared soon.
— Mustafa Bali (@mustefabali) February 9, 2019
As the remaining IS territory in the country appears to dwindle, Syrian and Iraqi forces will make sure that no IS fighters slip through their grasp, according to Kurdistan 24.