SDF says 500 ISIS fighters surrender to Kurdish-led forces in Baghouz

SDF says 500 ISIS fighters surrender to Kurdish-led forces in Baghouz

SDF says 500 ISIS fighters surrender to Kurdish-led forces in Baghouz

Prominent French jihadist Jean-Michel Clain was killed last month, his wife told AFP Tuesday after fleeing the last redoubt of the Islamic State group in eastern Syria.

A spokesman for the US-backed Syrian forces fighting the ISIS group says thousands of people, including militants, have left the last area held by the extremists in Syria.

But despite this hinderance, spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces Mustafa Bali tweeted that the battle to retake Baghouz, the last territory in Syria held by the Islamic State group, was "going to be over soon". Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!

The US-backed forces resumed their offensive on Baghouz last Friday, after a two-week pause to allow for the evacuation of civilians.

"Tunnels are being laced with IEDs [improvised explosive devices] by [IS], intended for pursuing SDF fighters, and IEDs can slow progress in an offensive assault", Col. Ryan told Syria Direct via email on Tuesday.

The numbers increased by hundreds in the past two weeks, U.S. defence officials said, as SDF members reclaimed territory from Islamic State and took suspected fighters into custody.

She was speaking at a screening center run by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led force that has spearheaded the military operation against the last dreg of the ISIS "caliphate". They left through a humanitarian corridor established by the Kurdish-led forces for those who want to leave or surrender.

Monitors with the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said about 150 IS fighters surrendered to the SDF, part of a group of about 400 people that left the ever-shrinking enclave on the banks of the Euphrates River.

On Sunday, black smoke billowed over the besieged speck of land in the village after airstrikes hit several targets. Six were sent to hospital.

The United Nations said last week that at least 84 people, two-thirds of them young children, have died since December on their way to al-Hol camp.

The new arrivals have pushed the camp's population to over 56,000, exacerbating already dire conditions at the crammed facility, it said.

After months under heavy bombardment and sometimes with very little to eat, families emerging from Baghouz are often in poor physical and psychological health.

Syria's Kurds hold hundreds of foreign jihadists and ISIS sympathisers, whose governments have been reluctant to take them back.

The chiefs of the U.S. and Russian militaries met in Austria on Monday to discuss the situation in Syria, where a residual USA military force will remain following the territorial defeat of the IS group.

Related news