Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are continuing efforts to permanently rid the country of Islamic State (ISIS) with the latest on Sunday being in Baghouz.
According to a Reuters report, the attacks are backed by the US and the area where the assault happened is the last ISIS enclave in eastern Syria.
The SDF, an alliance of many groups led by a Kurdish militia, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), has been holding back on the attacks for a few weeks to allow civilians, many of them wives and children of Islamic State fighters, to evacuate the city before its assault.
“The timeline we give ISIS to surrender themselves over,” Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media office, said on via his Twitter account earlier on Sunday. “Our forces are ready to start and finish what is left in ISIS hands,” he added.
In its battle against ISIS, the SDF has continuously received support from the US.
The SDF spokesman also tweeted the attack started at 6pm local time and its troops were engaged in “direct violent clashes,” its planes targeting Islamic State weapons stores.
The SDF has previously said hardened foreign jihadists were still holed up inside Baghouz, ready to fight to the end, though more than 4,000 ISIS militants had surrendered in the last month.
Although the Baghouz enclave, a territory stretching between Syria and Iraq, represents the last shred of populated land held by the self-declared “caliphate” that once spanned a third of the two countries, ISIS jihadists are still widely seen as a big security threat with its sleeper cells and guerrilla attacks by affiliates in the regions where it lost control.
The Baghouz attack is the pinnacle of the battle since claiming the regions of Raqqa and Mosul from jihadists, marking a milestone in the fight against ISIS.