Besieged IS militants refuse to surrender, ask for an exit

More than 300 Islamic State militants who are holed up in a tiny area in eastern Syria are refusing to surrender to U.S.-backed Syrian forces and are trying to negotiate an exit.

A person familiar with the negotiations says the militants are asking for a corridor to the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the talks, which he described as taking place indirectly.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group that monitors the civil war in Syria, says another request by the Islamic State group to be evacuated to neighboring Iraq was also rejected.

The militants are making their last stand in eastern Syria, hiding among hundreds of civilians.