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U.S.-backed forces launch fight for last Islamic State
February 11, 2019 - U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led forces have begun what could be the final battle against so-called Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, after a five-month campaign to liberate the Euphrates River valley from the jihadist group.
The assault on Baghouz Tahtani, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, began on Saturday night. It came after the evacuation of more than 20,000 civilians over the past two weeks. Many of them are suspected fighters or the wives and children of IS fighters.
Estimates of the number of fighters remaining in Baghouz Tahtani vary from 400 to 600 and are thought to include some of the most die-hard and committed extremists who have stayed with the group to the bitter end.
Syrian Democratic Forces forces entered the villages of Shajilah and Baghuz Fawqani on January 23.
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