ISIS3,000 ISIS fighters surrender as end of caliphate nears
ISIS once controlled large parts of Syria and Iraq, but now thousands of ISIS fighters have handed themselves in. Kurdish-led units reported some IS fighters were continuing to resist.
About 3,000 members of the ISIS have left the group’s last holdout in Syria to surrender to Kurdish-led forces.
“[The] number of Daesh (IS) members [who have] surrendered to us since yesterday evening has risen to 3,000,” Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Mustefa Bali said Tuesday.
The SDF temporarily halted airstrikes and shelling on IS-controlled Baghouz in eastern Syria on Tuesday to allow people to leave the village to hand themselves over.
SDF forces, which are backed by a U.S.-led coalition, have been bombarding Baghouz since Sunday.
A commander told the AFP news agency that the force was preparing to storm the village. A “few hundred” ISIS fighters are believed to still be in the holdout, said the U.S.-led coalition.
CNN reports that on Wednesday, there were reports of IS resistance in the form of mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades being fired out of the pocket of land they still hold in Baghouz.
SDF forces have repeatedly delayed their assault on Baghouz because of the large number of civilians — mostly IS wives and children — still in the village.
Around 60,000 people have left Baghouz since December, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It estimates that 10 percent of them could be ISIS fighters.
Outside of Baghouz, ISIS fighters continue to operate in remote areas of the country.