US-backed forces had been locked in fierce preventing as they pressed the battle in opposition to the final shred of the Islamic State group’s “caliphate” in japanese Syria on Sunday, a struggle monitor mentioned.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by a US-led coalition, introduced a last push to retake the jihadist pocket close to the Iraqi border late Saturday, after a pause of greater than every week to permit civilians to flee.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported heavy clashes between either side on Sunday morning, as coalition planes and artillery bombarded jihadist positions.
“The battle is ongoing. There have been heavy clashes this morning, with landmines going off,” mentioned Rami Abdel Rahman, the top of the Britain-based struggle monitor.
The SDF launched an offensive to expel IS from the japanese province of Deir Ezzor in September.
The Kurdish-led alliance has since whittled down jihadist-held territory to a patch of simply 4 sq. kilometres (one sq. mile) on the japanese banks of the Euphrates.
As much as 600 jihadists might nonetheless stay inside, most of them foreigners, in keeping with SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali.
Since preventing intensified in December, greater than 37,000 individuals, principally wives and kids of jihadist fighters, have fled out into SDF-held desert areas, the Observatory says.
That determine contains some 3,200 suspected jihadists detained by the SDF, in keeping with the monitor, which depends on sources inside Syria for its info.
On the top of their rule, the jihadists imposed their brutal interpretation of Islamic regulation on a territory spanning components of Syria and Iraq that was roughly the scale of Britain.
However separate navy offensives in each international locations, together with by the SDF, have since retaken the huge bulk of the cross-border “caliphate” they declared in 2014.