Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Backed Syrian force to start 'final battle' against IS enclave

Backed Syrian force to start 'final battle' against IS enclave

US-backed fighters in Syria say they are meeting fierce resistance as they attack the last enclave held by Islamic State (IS) militants in the country.

Bali said in the last 10 days SDF fighters had handled the battle "patiently" as civilians were evacuated from the besieged villages. "If Sunni socio-economic, political, and sectarian grievances are not adequately addressed by the national and local governments of Iraq and Syria it is very likely that ISIS will have the opportunity to set conditions for future resurgence and territorial control".

After weeks of advancing steadily, the SDF halted their ground assault on ISIS's tiny remaining enclave.

Arias, who is battling cancer, met Garivey in December with her family and told him that she wants to be a police officer when she grows up, ABC13 reported.

"We remain a long way from peace in Syria", said Merkel, adored by numerous more than 550,000 Syrians who have found refuge in Germany after she decided in 2015 to open the country's borders to nearly a million asylum seekers. "According to this you can imagine the ferocity and size of the fighting".

Backed by air strikes by the US-led coalition against IS, the Kurdish-Arab alliance has in recent months cornered the jihadists in a final patch of territory in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor. Four years ago, IS controlled territory the size of Britain and administered millions of people.

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In a surprise move in December, U.S. President Donald Trump sidelined his own national security team and allies by announcing the end of the U.S. troops' presence in Syria, declaring that the ISIL had been defeated there.

A United States military vehicle travels in the town of Amuda, northern Syria on April 29, 2017. The jihadists have been reduced to just a few square kilometres/miles of territory.

The announcement comes days after the SDF said that it was opposed to the creation of a Turkey-controlled security zone in north-eastern Syria and proposed worldwide monitoring of the area. This suits his agenda of withdrawing all U.S. troops from Syria.

How many fighters remain in Iraq and Syria is hotly disputed.

How many militants are left?

But activists and residents say IS still has sleeper cells in Syria and Iraq, and is laying the groundwork for an insurgency.

Individuals inspired by the group's ideology also continue to carry out attacks elsewhere.

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