U.S.-backed Syrian force to start 'final battle' against IS enclave

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Sun, 10 Feb 2019 - 01:30 GMT

ISIS militant uses a mobile to film his fellow militants taking part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa  - Reuters

ISIS militant uses a mobile to film his fellow militants taking part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa - Reuters

BEIRUT – 10 February 2019: The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will start an assault on Saturday against Islamic State's last enclave in the part of Syria where the U.S.-led coalition has been supporting operations against the group, an SDF official told Reuters.

"The battle will be launched this evening and its mission will be to eliminate the last remnants of the terrorist organisation," Mustafa Bali, the head of the SDF media office, said, describing it as the "last battle".

He said in the last 10 days SDF fighters had handled the battle "patiently" as civilians were evacuated from the besieged enclave comprising two villages near the Iraqi border. More than 20,000 had been evacuated, he said.

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