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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Syria: Isis Members Surrender by The Dozen Amid Baghouz Exodus

Politics

7Dnews London

Sun, 10 Mar 2019 12:50 GMT

Around 90 Isis fighters have surrendered to the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a Western-backed amalgamation of Kurdish-led factions, as members of the terror group continue fleeing the last shred of farmland they hold in the east Syria town of Baghouz.

"About 90 fighters have handed themselves over on Saturday March 9th, amid anticipation for the exit of more people in the incoming hours and days from the trenches and tunnels of the area of Baghouz," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement. 

According to the UK-based human rights watchdog, captured Isis members included a number of foreign fighters who had left their countries to fight alongside the terror group in Syria and Iraq. It is also expected more terrorists will give up their positions, and hand themselves over to SDF fighters in the following days.   

In recent weeks, the SDF has been alternately applying military force to put pressure on militants who refuse to surrender, and holding fire long enough to allow for evacuations and surrender. 

The final military push into the last Isis-held territory has been put on hold by both the US-led international coalition, and its partner on the ground, the SDF. This is due to the presence of both civilians and hostages being held captive by a stubborn few Isis members who have remained holed up in Baghouz.  

As food and medical supplies run low, the SDF says it will be only a matter of time before their final defeat. Citing SDF sources, the Observatory said that "the military offensive meant to liberate the east Syria town has been postponed indefinitely".  

Thousands of people have trickled out of Baghouz in the last few days, with the latest wave of evacuations signalling the defeat of Isis to be carried out soon by the SDF. That would be a milestone in the devastating four-year campaign to defeat the group's so-called "caliphate" that once covered vast swathes of land in both Syria and Iraq. 


Middle East