Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by Washington, plan to attack the last ISIS enclave in Syria once civilians, who are still inside that area, have been evacuated, an SDF official said.
The besieged ISIS enclave centred around Baghouz on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River represents the terrorist group’s last territorial foothold in the part of Syria where forces supported by the US have been fighting it.
Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media office, did not indicate how soon he expected the civilian evacuation to be completed, Reuters reported, noting that most of the civilians are family members of ISIS militants.
“There is of course a safe corridor and civilians are coming out daily, and this reduces their number in Baghouz until we can be sure the town is free of civilians.
“We will launch an attack to end ISIS presence or they will turn themselves in. There are no other options for them. We confirm there are no negotiations and no intention to have negotiations,” Bali said late on Friday.
According to Reuters, the US said on Jan. 29 that ISIS was expected to lose the final chunk of territory within a couple of weeks.
ISIS still has a territorial foothold in Syria west of the Euphrates in areas otherwise held by the Syrian regime and its allies.
Source: Asharq Al-Awsat