World: 'Slow and methodical' progress in Islamic State Syria pocket: coalition - PressFrom - US
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World'Slow and methodical' progress in Islamic State Syria pocket: coalition

17:45  12 february  2019
17:45  12 february  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Pompeo reassures allies of U.S. commitments in Syria, Iraq

Pompeo reassures allies of U.S. commitments in Syria, Iraq U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday reassured allies that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria was not "the end of America's fight" and called on them to recommit to permanently defeating Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Addressing roughly 79 coalition partners, gathered in Washington to discuss next steps in the conflict in Syria, Pompeo said Islamic State remained a menace. © Reuters/KEVIN LAMARQUE Pompeo hosts a gathering of foreign ministers aligned toward the defeat of Islamic State in Washington "The U.S. troops withdrawing from Syria is not the end of America's fight.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL /ˈaɪsəl/), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS /ˈaɪsɪs/), officially known as the Islamic State (IS)

Thousands of civilians are trapped in Islamic State 's last pocket in eastern Syria , a day after US-backed "There are fears over the lives of thousands of civilians who are stranded in the pocket ," said Rami Abdel-Rahman "There is no real progress on the ground because the area is full of mines

'Slow and methodical' progress in Islamic State Syria pocket: coalition© Reuters/Rodi Said FILE PHOTO: Members of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) stand near a pick up truck near Baghouz

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Kurdish-led fighters battling to capture Islamic State's last major stronghold in Syria are making "slow and methodical" progress, the U.S.-led coalition backing them said on Tuesday.

"The enemy is fully entrenched and ISIS fighters continue to conduct counter attacks," coalition spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan said in an email, adding it was "too early for a timetable" on when the operation might end.

Baghouz, a village on the east bank of the Euphrates at Syria's border with Iraq, is Islamic State's last territorial foothold in the U.S.-led coalition's area of operations.

'Heavy clashes' as US-backed forces battle IS in Syria: monitor

'Heavy clashes' as US-backed forces battle IS in Syria: monitor US-backed forces were locked in fierce fighting as they pressed the battle against the last shred of the Islamic State group's "caliphate" in eastern Syria on Sunday, a war monitor said. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by a US-led coalition, announced a final push to retake the jihadist pocket near the Iraqi border late Saturday, after a pause of more than a week to allow civilians to flee.

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said Sunday they had recaptured 41 positions held by Islamic State militants in eastern Syria . The SDF, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, is fighting IS in a 4-square-kilometer area that includes Baghuz and is near the Iraqi border.

That was certainly Islamic State 's belief too. In late October, they issued a And the role of the US-led coalition in the Kurdish victory is downplayed by the conservative In northern Iraq meanwhile, the Peshmerga have been making slow , methodical progress in regaining ground lost to IS in August

However, the jihadists still hold land in central Syria in a remote desert area otherwise controlled by the government. In places it lost in Syria and Iraq, Islamic State was able to go to ground and has carried out deadly guerrilla attacks.

Even after Baghouz is captured, there will have to be clearing operations to rid the village of explosive booby traps left by Islamic State to kill civilians, Ryan said.

The battle is being waged by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia, which has seized about a quarter of the country, mostly through the U.S.-backed offensive against Islamic State.

US-backed Syria force announces final push against IS

US-backed Syria force announces final push against IS The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said Saturday it had begun the "final battle" to oust the Islamic State group from the last scrap of territory it holds in eastern Syria. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Backed by air strikes by the US-led coalition against IS, the Kurdish-Arab alliance has in recent months cornered the jihadists in a final patch of territory in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

The Islamic State has been boxed into a small pocket of territory on the border between Syria and Iraq for more than a year.CreditCreditHadi The breakout on Nov. 24 was a propaganda bonanza for the extremists, even though officials of the American-led coalition battling the Islamic State said they

The U.S.-led coalition and its local allies are closing in on “the last group of remaining fighters in Syria " from the Islamic State . Although the U.S.-led coalition and its local partners have decimated ISIS’s physical caliphate in the Middle East, the Trump administration has acknowledged that the jihadist

On Monday, columns of white smoke from coalition air strikes were visible and trucks crammed with fleeing civilians drove along a dusty track out of the enclave, a Reuters witness said.

Coalition air power, crucial to the SDF's advances, has leveled entire districts of towns and cities in the fight against Islamic State, though it says it takes care to avoid hitting civilians.

On Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 70 civilians had been killed and wounded by air strikes that it said struck a camp for civilians in Baghouz, and that 16 civilians were killed in strikes overnight.

In letters to the United Nations, Syria's Foreign Ministry condemned U.S.-led strikes that it said killed 16 civilians in a camp in Baghouz including women and children.

"Syria calls on the (U.N.) Security Council again to stop these crimes...and end the aggressive, illegitimate presence of American and other foreign forces," the ministry said.

Ryan said the coalition was aware of the report and was looking into it. "The coalition continues to strike at ISIS targets whenever available," he said.

SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said on Monday many civilians remained in Baghouz, compelling the fighters to proceed cautiously. The SDF believes 400-600 jihadists may still be dug in there.

(Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Trump Says All Islamic State Land to Be Won Back by Next Week.
President Donald Trump said the U.S. military and its allies will probably control all territory once held by Islamic State by next week. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); “It should be formally announced sometime probably next week that we will have 100 percent of the caliphate,” Trump said Wednesday at a meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Washington. “You can’t do better than we’ve done militarily.” General Joseph Votel, the head of U.S.

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