On 11th March, Islamic State’s final enclave in eastern Syria was crushed with air assaults and artillery, in a US –backed attack directed at obliterating the last iota of its territorial rule, which once used to stretch a third of Syria and Iraq.
Fires erupted after dark in the enclave at Baghouz near the Iraqi border as it was aimed with rockets and thick quantity of smoke rose from the area. Heavy firing of artillery could be heard and the night sky was lit up by flares.
The U.S.-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) earlier stated that its fighters were facing/ confronting sniper fire and landmines and progressing slowly to avoid losses. The most seasoned IS foreign fighters are still hiding in the area, as per SDF sources.
Air assaults demolished IS stores and vehicles. The collapse of Islamic State at Baghouz will record a landmark in the campaign against the jihadist group, finishing its control of populated territory in the area bestriding Iraq and Syria where it suddenly extended in 2014 and declared a caliphate.
However, the group still functions in remote territory elsewhere and has shown it will carry on escalating a potent security threat, with a line of insurgent assaults in both nations. A U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that the United States did not think senior Islamic State leaders were still in Baghouz.
The official stated that most of these people have shifted elsewhere as part of our evaluation of their movement toward a more secret insurgency or preparing for the next battle when they don’t control territory.
SDF commander Adnan Afrin stated many jihadist rebels had been killed or wounded since the attack began on Sunday. Islamic State fighters tried to carry out four suicide assaults but the SDF seized an arms dump, said Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media office. One SDF fighter was killed and four were wounded.