More than 300 Islamic State militants are trying to negotiate an exit after refusing to surrender after U.S.-backed forces surrounded them.
The ISIS militants are negotiating with U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), according to a report by Sarah El Deeb of the Associated Press. This comes after the SDF assaulted and surrounded the last pocket of ISIS-controlled land in a town called Baghouz. (RELATED: Report: Syrian Forces Corner ISIS In Last Foothold)
Islamic State militants are currently holed up alongside a number of civilians inside the surrounded town of Baghouz, which was described by SDF officials as “a small tented village, atop a network of tunnels and caves.”
The rebels are reportedly asking the SDF for a “corridor to the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib.” The militants have also asked for the civilians that are in the town to be allowed to leave with them.
The SDF rejected ISIS’s request for passage into Iraq according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The militants in the surrounded area also released 10 SDF soldiers, who had been captured earlier were let go on Monday.
Heart-warming footage of the arrival of 10 Arab SDF prisoners who were captured alive by ISIS some time ago.
— Afarin Mamosta (@Afarin_Mamosta) February 17, 2019
Trucks filled with food and supplies have also been entering into the town since the standoff commenced. The standoff between the SDF and ISIS has lasted for five days.
If captured, the fall of this last bit of ISIS’s territory would be the end of the four-year campaign against the Islamic State.
SDF announced that after they take ISIS’s last territory, their plans include hunting down ISIS sleeper cells and liberating Afrin.
— Kurdistan 24 English (@K24English) February 18, 2019