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Tuesday , September 17 2019

Force victory over ‘DAESH’

U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters pose for a photo on a rooftop overlooking Baghouz, Syria, after the SDF declared the area free of Islamic State militants after months of fighting on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The elimination of the last Islamic State stronghold in Baghouz brings to a close a grueling final battle that stretched across several weeks and saw thousands of people flee the territory and surrender in desperation, and hundreds killed. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

DEIR EZZOR, Syria, March 23, (RTRS): US-backed forces proclaimed the capture of Islamic State’s last territory in Syria on Saturday, eliminating its rule over a self-proclaimed “caliphate”, but the jihadist group remains a threat from sleeper cells around the world. Originally an offshoot of al- Qaeda, IS or the DAESH in Arabic, took large swathes of Iraq and Syria from 2014, creating a theocracy known for beheadings and attacks by supporters in the West – but it was slowly beaten back to the village of Baghouz.

“We announce today the destruction of the so-called Islamic State organisation and the end of its ground control in its last pocket in Baghouz,” Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) general commander Mazloum Abdi told a victory ceremony. SDF fighters, who besieged Baghouz for weeks while planes pounded from above, paraded in memory of 11,000 comrades killed in years of fighting against IS.
A band played the American national anthem. Despite the euphoria, some shooting and mortar fire continued on Saturday morning, according to a Reuters journalist at Baghouz. And Abdi warned the campaign against the militant’s more hidden threats must continue.

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