The forces antijihadistes resumed Friday their military operations against the last of the fighters of the group islamic State (EI) cornered at the edge of the river Euphrates in Syria, a final battle is supposed to sign the end of the “caliphate” of the organization-jihadist.
After two days of break, the democratic Forces in syria (FDS), supported by aircraft of the international coalition led by the United States, have hit new jihadists to Baghouz, in the province of Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria, near the iraqi border.
If air strikes and ground combat have taken place in the night and the early hours of Friday, the calm is then returned, broken by a few shots of shells in the late afternoon, found a team from the AFP on the spot.
Of the veterans of SDS were visible on the roofs of buildings of Baghouz, leaning over the wall, obviously having nothing to do, in the middle of the ocean of ruins that became the village, according to a journalist on the ground.
In the early evening, a spokesman of the FDS, Mustafa Bali, said on Twitter that fights “around a hill of Baghouz to eliminate what remains of the ARS”.
“Small groups of the AR that refuse to go launch attacks, and our forces responded,” said another spokesperson, Adnane Afrine.
The spokesperson of the White House, Sarah Sanders, has however said that “the caliphate territorial of the AR was eliminated in Syria”.
Wednesday and Thursday, the FDS had resorted to sweeps, and consolidated the positions taken to the jihadists, cornered in a small stretch of earth to the limits of Baghouz, by the river Euphrates.
– Tunnels, caves –
In the camp, where were huddled in recent weeks the jihadists, a few veterans of the SDS walked without a weapon on Friday.
The FDS there were entries on Tuesday, forcing the jihadists to retreat to the boundaries of the camp and the village of Baghouz.
According to a spokesperson of the SDS, Kino Gabriel, hundreds of jihadists, including some women, have retreated into hiding places at the edge of the river as well as at the bottom of a hill overlooking Baghouz.
“In one or two days we will end our military operations in least developments surprise,” he added.
According to the syrian Observatory Human rights (OSDH), the last of the jihadists are hiding in underground tunnels and cellars in Baghouz.
Several fighters of the ARS want to go but are prevented by their comrades, said a person in charge of MSDS, Jiaker Amed.
The loss in its entirety of the village would be entering the end region of the ARS in Syria, after its defeat in Iraq in 2017.
The AR had declared 2014 a “caliphate” across vast regions conquered on horseback between Syria and Iraq, before that its territory would not be reduced like skin of sorrow these past two years, with the multiplication of attacks against the organization-jihadist.
– Hundreds of dead –
The offensive against the ultimate pocket ie to Baghouz is the last phase of a transaction triggered by September 2018 to hunt the group of the last areas under its control in Syria. She has been slowed by the presence of thousands of civilians who are out of the square of the AR.
Since January, more than 67,000 people have left the pocket of the AR, of which 5,000 jihadists arrested after they surrendered, according to the FDS. The civilians among them, most of the families of jihadists, have been relocated into camps, mostly in the Al-Hol (north-east).
Since September, 750 fighters of the FDS died in the fighting, and almost the double of jihadists, according to the OSDH.
Despite the defeats and the imminent fall of its “caliphate”, ie, a group of ultraradical responsible for atrocities and murderous attacks in the arab and western countries, has apparently already started her moult in a clandestine organization, and still manages to carry out bloody attacks.
The battle against the ir today represents the main front of the war in Syria that has claimed more than 370.000 deaths since march 2011, the syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, supported by Russia and Iran, having reconquered nearly two-thirds of the country.
The war in Syria, triggered by the repression of protests, pro-democracy, has become increasingly complex over the years with the involvement of foreign powers and groups as jihadists.
In a video posted on the group’s accounts jihadist on social networks, the ARS has rejected the statements on the imminent end of the “caliphate” and called on its supporters to carry out attacks against “enemies” in the West.