Last ISIS stronghold in Syria liberated

Trump says ISIS will be 'gone by tonight'

Trump Brings Out a Map to Show How Much Territory ISIS Has Lost Since His Election

The SDF, backed by US air power, swept on Tuesday into a camp where hundreds of fighters had been making their last stand with thousands of civilians, many their own wives and children.

After being driven out of Mosul in 2017, ISIS has been pushed back - mile-by-mile, through fierce fighting - from almost all the territory it used to control in Syria into a tiny patch of land on the Euphrates river near the border with Iraq. A group of women and children were seen being evacuated from the Baghouz area.

"The caliphate is gone as of tonight", Mr Trump said at a military tank factory in Lima, Ohio.

"A group of Daesh in Baghuz still fight back and hold their families as human shields", Zana Amedi, a media official with the YPG militia, which has been supporting the SDF offensive, told VOA Wednesday, using the terror group's Arabic acronym.

In all, SDF says more than 5,000 IS fighters have surrendered or been captured over the past month, while another 1,300 have been killed in the fighting.

"We are expecting another 3,000 to arrive soon and we are very anxious that they may be in even worse shape", it said.

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Prosecutors said Sayoc began searching for the homes of some people targeted as early as last July and continued into the fall. Over several days, investigators tracked the packages to a mail center in Opa-locka.

Women and children leaving Baghouz have spoken to Reuters and other global media of harsh conditions under siege in the encampment, surviving heavy aerial bombardment and with food supplies so scarce that some resorted to eating grass.

Over the past two months, some 60,000 people, mostly women and children, have poured out of shrinking IS territory, said the SDF. "Many have been caught up in the fighting and dozens have been burnt or badly injured by shrapnel", Wendy Taeuber, IRC's Iraq and northeast Syria country director, said in a statement.

"There have now been at least 138 deaths on the way to al Hol or soon after arriving at the camp since early December".

The "caliphate" which ISIS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed in 2014 once covered territory larger than the United Kingdom, straddling Syria and Iraq.

For the past four years, USA -led forces have waged a destructive campaign against the group.

But IS has already begun its transformation into a guerilla organisation, and still carries out deadly hit-and-run attacks from desert or mountain hideouts.

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