Push to defeat IS in Syria slowed by concern for hostages

16 Mars, 2019, 20:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • ISIS targets deserters in Syria’s Baghouz kills six injures nine

People who left the besieged Islamic State-held village of Baghouz, Syria, scramble up a rocky hillside to be checked by U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, Thursday, March 14, 2019.

The incident comes as members of the terrorist group continue to surrender in droves to the Kurdish-led SDF, which is leading a long-winded battle to end the territorial grip of the Islamic State, now limited to a small enclave they control in the Baghouz area in Deir al-Zor Province.

The SDF, a Kurdish-led rebel force backed by US -led coalition air support, moved closer to its goal of wiping out the last vestiges of the militants' so-called "caliphate" that once sprawled across Syria and neighboring Iraq.

During the battle for the enclave, they have hidden in tunnels, deployed suicide attackers to strike advancing SDF troops and detonated auto bombs.

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An SDF spokesman, Mustafa Bali, said the attacks had targeted surrendering family members of Islamic State militants at three crossing points from the enclave into SDF-controlled territory.

Three SDF fighters were slightly injured and it was not yet known if the attackers were women or men in women's clothing, Bali added.

IS launched three suicide attacks Friday outside Baghouz, killing six people among those fleeing the crumbling jihadist bastion near the Iraqi border.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group based in Britain, said two women had carried out suicide blasts.

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