Islamic State militants on Saturday hung on to their last parcel of land in eastern Syria after several days of bombardment from U.S. fighter jets and pressure from all sides by advancing forces on the ground.
Jiya Furat, the commander of the assault by the Syrian Democratic Forces, told Reuters that the militants are cornered and in a “very short time, we will spread the good tidings to the world of the military end of Daesh.”
The capture of Baghouz and nearby areas would mark the end of a devastating four-year global campaign to end the extremist group’s hold on territory in Syria and Iraq, their so-called “caliphate” that at the height of the militant group’s power in 2014 controlled nearly a third of both Iraq and Syria.
President Trump on Saturday asked European allies to “take back” about 800 ISIS fighters and put them on trial. Trump said the U.S. “does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go. He vowed not to pull troops until after a 100 percent victory over the self-declared caliphate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report