Syria: the battle for Baguz continues

CNN obtains footage of ISIS’ final battle in Syria

Syria: the battle for Baguz continues

IS tries to defend against SDF using; human shields and car bombs

Sunday was the second day of fighting for Baguz, the last section of Syrian territory held by the Islamic State group. Militants tried to fight back US-backed forces using explosives and “human shields”.

A video posted online by groups affiliated with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) shows multiple fires on an Islamic State-controlled plot of land in a village in northeastern Syria..

“Several car bombs have been destroyed by coalition air strikes in the last two days of fighting in Baguz,” SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted..

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US-led coalition officials told Voice of America that the air strikes were carried out on an ad-hoc basis, although they raised concerns that the fighting could injure non-combatants..

“The coalition believes that the Islamic State continues to use innocent civilians to create human shields and is clearly violating the rules of war,” said Colonel Sean Ryan, a coalition spokesman..

The terrorists’ use of human shields contradicts statements by some SDF officials that the final offensive will not begin until all civilians have been withdrawn from the enclave..

An estimated 13,000 civilians fled Baguz in the week leading up to Friday’s SDF attack.

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Sources close to the SDF leadership told VOA that as of Thursday, some people from Baguz said that hundreds of civilians were still in the village. But SDF representatives suggested that almost all the people remaining in Baguz were militants who were going to hold their last line..

About 15,000 US-backed fighters launched a final offensive against the Islamic State on Friday evening with US and coalition air and artillery support.

On Saturday, SDF representatives expressed hope for an early end to the battle, but progress was slow: the militants actively used caves and tunnels under the village, both for counterattacks and for setting traps for the advancing coalition forces..

“The depth of the tunnels is unknown. We only know that they are vast and crammed with artisanal explosive devices, “Ryan told Voice of America..

Syria: the battle for Baguz continues
Syria: the battle for Baguz continues

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