Islamic State: '1000’s of civilians' nonetheless trapped in Baghuz – BBC Information

Woman and children who fled the Islamic State (IS) group"s embattled holdout of Baghouz on February 14, 2019Picture copyright
AFP/Getty Photographs

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Civilians have been fleeing Baghuz of their lots of over the previous week

The battle to say the final pocket of territory from the Islamic State group (IS) is being held up as a result of 1000’s of civilians stay trapped there.

US-backed Kurdish forces launched an assault on Baghuz, on the Syrian aspect of the Iraqi border, final week.

US President Donald Trump mentioned on Friday the defeat of IS can be introduced “over the following 24 hours”.

However Kurdish fighters say the information was more likely to emerge “within the coming few days” as civilians continued to flee.

What is the newest?

Jiya Furat, the chief of the battle for Baghuz for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), mentioned IS fighters had been now trapped in a 700 sq metre part of the city.

“1000’s of civilians are nonetheless trapped there as human shields,” he mentioned on Saturday.

“Within the coming few days, in a really brief time, we’ll unfold the great tidings to the world of the navy finish of Daesh [IS].”

SDF spokesman Adnan Afrin instructed Agence France-Presse they had been shocked to be taught what number of civilians had been nonetheless inside. The SDF needed to gradual its strategy because of this, he mentioned.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 440 IS fighters had surrendered over the previous few days, however the SDF believes just a few hundred stay trapped in Baghuz.

The Observatory mentioned efforts had been below technique to discover IS fighters hiding in tunnels that they had dug round Baghuz.

What did Mr Trump announce?

4 years in the past IS managed 88,000 sq km (34,000 sq miles) of territory stretching from western Syria to jap Iraq, proclaimed the creation of a “caliphate”, imposed its brutal rule on nearly eight million individuals and generated billions of {dollars} from oil, extortion, theft and kidnapping.

However in December, Mr Trump surprisingly introduced the withdrawal of US troops from Syria as he believed IS had been “crushed”.

Then on Friday afternoon, he mentioned: “We’ve got loads of nice bulletins having to do with Syria and our success with the eradication of the caliphate and that shall be introduced over the following 24 hours.”

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Media captionWas Trump proper to say IS is crushed?

IS has suffered substantial losses, however the UN has mentioned it nonetheless reportedly controls between 14,000 and 18,000 militants in Iraq and Syria.

In the meantime, there are vital numbers of IS-affiliated militants in Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, South-East Asia and West Africa, and to a lesser extent in Somalia, Yemen and the Sahel.

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