Daesh loses ground in final Syria enclave, hundreds surrender

A statement from the SDF said 15 members of Daesh had been killed after they tried to attack its troops. (File/AFP)
Updated 14 March 2019
0

Daesh loses ground in final Syria enclave, hundreds surrender

  • “Our fighters advanced deep into areas controlled by the terrorist organization and established a number of new points,” SDF said
  • The push follows clashes and air strikes by the US-led coalition

BAGHOUZ: Daesh militants accompanied by relatives surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) by the hundreds on Thursday as the extremists lost ground to a US-backed assault aimed seizing the last shred of Daesh territory, the SDF said.
Many of the men were limping as they crossed out of the enclave at Baghouz along a dirt path over a rocky hill, accompanied by weeping children and fully veiled women, dragging suitcases and backpacks behind them, a Reuters journalist said.
SDF fighters said many of them were foreign fighters.
Daesh insurgents have been mounting a desperate last-stand defence of the enclave at Baghouz, the final patch of the group's territory that once spanned a third of Iraq and Syria and which has been besieged by the SDF for weeks.
The terrorists had sought to counter-attack three times in two days, the SDF said, deploying more than 20 suicide bombers.
In a statement, the SDF said its fighters had made progress into the remaining Daesh-held part of the enclave in eastern Syrian near the Iraqi border. It said 15 Daesh members had been killed on Thursday morning after they tried to attack SDF troops.
"Our fighters thwarted all of the terrorist organisation's attempts to achieve any progress."
The enclave was being pounded with artillery fire as war planes flew overhead on Thursday. The SDF said it had confirmed 112 Daesh fighters had been killed since it resumed the assault to capture Baghouz earlier this week.
The SDF said earlier this week the battle for Baghouz - a collection of hamlets and farmland - was as good as over.
No Daesh leaders are believed to be in Baghouz, according to a US defence official. US government experts strongly believe Baghdadi is alive and possibly hiding in Iraq.
The group is still assessed to remain a potent security threat operating in remote territory in both Syria and Iraq.
 

 


Israeli forces kill Palestinian suspected of deadly attack in West Bank

Updated 20 March 2019
0

Israeli forces kill Palestinian suspected of deadly attack in West Bank

  • The assailant was killed after he opened fire at Israeli forces who had come to arrest him, the Shin Bet said
  • The Palestinian health ministry said two more Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli soldiers near Nablus

JERUSALEM: Israeli forces on Tuesday killed a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a deadly stabbing and shooting attack in the occupied West Bank two days earlier, the Israeli Shin Bet security service said.
The assailant was killed after he opened fire at Israeli forces who had come to arrest him, the Shin Bet said. The Palestinian health ministry confirmed a person had been killed in the clash, but provided no further details.
In what appeared to be a separate incident, the Palestinian health ministry said two more Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli soldiers near the West Bank city of Nablus. An Israeli army spokeswoman said the report was being looked into.
On Sunday, a suspected Palestinian assailant fatally stabbed a soldier at an intersection on a busy West Bank highway and opened fire at the scene using the conscript’s rifle, killing an Israeli rabbi and wounding a second soldier.
Palestinians, many of them people without links to armed groups, carried out a wave of attacks in the West Bank in late 2015 and 2016 but the frequency of such incidents has since decreased.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians seek to establish a state there and in the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014.