Syrian forces take 41 ISIS positions
BEIRUT — U.S.-backed Syrian forces captured 41 positions held by Islamic State group militants and destroyed their fortifications in the last tiny pocket they hold in eastern Syria, a spokesman said Sunday.
Mustafa Bali said the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces made the advances overnight and on Sunday, hours after they launched a final push to clear the area from Islamic State militants Saturday night.
The final battle to clear the village of Baghouz is now playing out after 20,000 civilians were evacuated from the area in the eastern province of Deir-el-Zour over the past few weeks.
Bali said heavy fighting was going on inside Baghouz on Sunday, adding that an Islamic State counterattack was foiled early in the day. He did not say how long the battle was expected to last. U.S.-led coalition warplanes are giving cover to advancing Syrian Democratic Forces fighters.
President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday that the Islamic State group will lose by this week all the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria.