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Civilians quit last ISIS holdout in east Syria: US-backed force

Several Islamic State Group Jihadists And Dozens Of Civilians, Including Foreigners, Quit The Last IS-held Pocket In Eastern Syria On Tuesday

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Fayiq Wani | Updated on: 20 Feb 2019, 07:34:51 AM
Backed by air strikes by the US-led coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces have already retaken most of the village

New Delhi:

Several Islamic State group jihadists and dozens of civilians, including foreigners, quit the last IS-held pocket in eastern Syria on Tuesday, US-backed forces said. Backed by air strikes by the US-led coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces have already retaken most of the village. “A convoy of trucks entered Baghouz on Tuesday to transfer jihadists and their relatives out to SDF-held territory,” said SDF spokesman Adnan Afrin. IS, which in 2014 declared a cross-border "caliphate" straddling Syria and Iraq, has been expelled from all the land it held except for a patch of Baghouz village.

"Dozens of civilians and some fighters have handed themselves over to the SDF," he told reporters at nearby Al-Omar oil field.

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The spokesman said foreigners were among leaving but did not specify their nationalities or if they were civilians or fighters.

"This is the first-time civilians will make it out in four days," Afrin said.

On Monday, a bomb attack in Syria's jihadist-held city of Idlib killed 24 people, including four children, a war monitor said. The bomb was planted under a car in the main city of the Idlib region, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. “A motorcycle bomb detonated after ambulances arrived at the scene of the first explosion, the Britain-based monitoring group said. Over 51 were also injured in the incident. Idlib is the last major part of Syria still outside the control of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

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Earlier, Donald Trump surprised the world and his country as well when he suddenly announced that the US is pulling out its troops from Syria. "In Syria, Erdogan said he wants to knock out ISIS, whatever's left, the remnants of ISIS. And Saudi Arabia just came out and said they are going to pay for some economic development. Which is great, that means we don't have to pay. We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven't even heard about. Frankly, it's ridiculous," Trump added.

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First Published : 20 Feb 2019, 07:34:46 AM