Saturday, 16 February, 2019

SDF ready for push on final Daesh pocket

Isis in Syria: It may be over for the caliphate but ideology has already spread US to pull forces out of Syria by end of April: Report
Kenny Thornton | 10 February, 2019, 08:26

Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media office, did not indicate how soon he expected the civilian evacuation to be completed, Reuters reported, noting that most of the civilians are family members of ISIS militants.

"The SDF have launched the final battle to crush IS... in the village of Baghouz", the SDF said in a statement.

President Donald Trump said on February 8 that US diplomats had a "very productive meeting" with North Korean officials, and announced that his summit later this month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be held in Vietnam's capital of Hanoi.

Estimates of the number of fighters remaining in the pinprick of territory vary wildly from dozens to hundreds, but they are thought to include some of the most die-hard and committed extremists who have remained with the group to the bitter end.

After weeks of advancing steadily, the SDF halted their ground assault on ISIS's tiny remaining enclave.

Trump's comments came. after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told coalition partners that the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from the region. did not signify the end of America's fight.

Knicks officially waive Enes Kanter
With head coach David Fizdale focusing on youth, it will be interesting how Jordan fits into New York's plans moving forward. The Houston Rockets were among the playoff teams who had interest in signing Matthews after his buyout, sources said.

At its height, the jihadist proto-state proclaimed by IS in June 2014 straddled swathes of land in Syria and Iraq and was roughly the size of Britain.

The announcement comes days after the SDF said that it was opposed to the creation of a Turkey-controlled security zone in north-eastern Syria and proposed global monitoring of the area. Four years ago, IS controlled territory the size of Britain and administered millions of people.

The Observatory said 12 IS gunmen attacked the SDF and clashed with them for several hours until most of the attackers were killed early Saturday.

In that time, more than 1,200 IS militants, more than 670 SDF fighters, and around 400 civilians have been killed in the fighting, the Observatory says.

The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and their female equivalent, the Women's Protection Units (YPJ), have formed the backbone of the SDF.

The U.S. military is preparing to withdraw all of its forces from Syria by the end of April, the Wall Street Journal has reported on February 7. "We have chosen a political agreement with Damascus because we don't want secession from Syria", senior Kurdish official Badran Jia Kurdi told AFP.

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