U.S.-backed forces storm IS-held village
Move comes at the end of weeklong offensive to pressure extremists
BEIRUT — U.S.-backed Syrian forces entered an eastern village Saturday in the last pocket of territory held by the Islamic State in Syria, the forces said.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said its fighters stormed Bagouz and were close to the center of the village. The forces said they planned to open another front in the Sousseh area along the Euphrates river to increase pressure on the extremists.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the U.S.-led coalition, launched a wide offensive this week to capture the last area held by the Islamic State in Syria. The Kurdish-led forces have been among the most effective in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria, forcing them out of much of the country’s east.
Despite losing most of the territory it held between Iraq and Syria since its peak in 2014, the Islamic State remains a disruptive force in both countries. Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, urged his followers to “persevere” in an audio tape attributed to him last month.
In another development, Syrian state media reported that Israel attacked Damascus International Airport with missiles Saturday night. A war monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the attack targeted an arms depot for Iranian forces or Lebanon’s Hezbollah group. The monitoring group had no immediate word on casualties.