US-backed fighters clash with IS militants in eastern Syria
U.S.-backed Syrian fighters say they are battling the Islamic State group in eastern Syria 10 days after declaring victory over the extremists.
By The Associated Press BEIRUT |
U.S.-backed Syrian fighters are battling the Islamic State group in eastern Syria 10 days after declaring victory over the extremists, an official with the Kurdish-led force said Tuesday.
Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, said they are rooting out groups of militants who were hiding in caves in and near the village of Baghouz. He added that SDF experts are still removing mines and booby-traps in areas liberated in recent weeks.
The SDF declared military victory over IS on March 23 after liberating what it said was the last pocket of territory held by the militants. The victory marked the end of the brutal self-styled caliphate the group carved out in large parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014.
The nearly five-year war left a swath of destruction across both countries and ended in Baghouz, a tiny village near the Iraqi border where the cornered militants made their last stand, under a grueling siege for weeks.