ISIS soldiers are using civilians as “human shields” in an attempt to slow down U.S.-backed forces that have cornered the terrorists in the small Syrian town of Baghouz.
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesperson Mustafa Bali said that their forces were slowing down their assault on the last ISIS foothold due to the use of the human shields. They also said, however, that “the battle to retake the last ISIS holdout is going to be over soon.”
Bali also stated that their goal was to protect, free, and “avoid harming” the captives used as human shields according to a report by Kurdistan 24.
Despite this setback, the SDF has made progress and has been pushing further into the town.
— Mustafa Bali (@mustefabali) March 2, 2019
The ISIS fighters left in the town are now surrounded by U.S.-backed forces: the Kurdish SDF, and on the other side by the Syrian regime and Russia, according to the Guardian.
The fight for ISIS’s last holdout has been fought over for about a month, starting in early February. (RELATED: Report: Syrian Forces Corner ISIS In Last Foothold)
Many of the ISIS fighters left inside the town are “foreign recruits, intent on fighting to the end,” according to Kurdistan 24.
Bali announced on Friday that the final push to “clear the last remaining pocket of ISIS” had begun.
The final victory over ISIS in Baghouz would be the end of the nearly five-year-long campaign against the Islamic State’s territorial domain in Syrian and Iraq.