Syria: ISIS has lost its final stronghold in Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces announced Saturday, bringing an end to the so-called caliphate declared by the terrorist group in 2014.
The coalition of Kurdish and Arab soldiers backed by US, British and French special forces said it defeated ISIS and fully liberated
Baghouz in eastern Syria.
“Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and 100% territorial defeat of ISIS. On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible,” tweeted Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF press office.
Ending weeks of combat, the US-backed Syrian forces raised a yellow flag atop a building in the town as they celebrated the victory over ISIS.
The final battle played out on a hillside near Baghouz. On Saturday morning, inside what was the group’s final enclave, all that remained was a junkyard of wrecked cars, tattered tents, ditches and dead bodies.
Before the offensive started, SDF officials estimated that 1,500 civilians and 500 ISIS fighters remained, but as the assault got under way it became clear that the actual number was much higher. The final phase of the battle was delayed to allow thousands more civilians — along with foreign ISIS supporters — out of of the besieged town.