March 19, 2019

Islamic State launches counter attacks at Syria enclave

15 March 2019, 11:25 | Devin Moran

‘The ISIS threat will remain,’ John Bolton says

Baghouz SDF says 2,000 ISIS fighters families surrender as offensive continues

Islamic State group fighters launched suicide attacks Wednesday at US-backed Syrian forces in a desperate bid to defend their last scrap of territory after 3,000 of their fellow jihadists surrendered.

In this edition of Beyond the Headlines, we take you to the frontlines in the fight to end ISIS.

Operations against the Islamic State "will continue until we totally wipe them out, " the Syrian Democratic Forces vowed in a statement Monday, saying their fighters had made "tangible progress" since Sunday, with 37 militants killed and five Syrian Democratic Forces fighters wounded.

Gabriel said 25 ISIS militants had been confirmed killed so far in clashes, in addition to an unknown number of militants killed by air strikes.

There were no casualties.

The official said jihadists were using suicide bombers but his force intercepted them before they reached their target.

The enclave is the last bit of territory held by ISIL soldiers who have been driven from roughly one-third of Iraq and Syria over the past four years.

The SDF said earlier its fighters advanced slowly to avoid losses and were encountering sniper fire and landmines.

The SDF has laid siege to Baghouz for weeks but has repeatedly postponed its final assault to allow thousands of civilians, many of them wives and children of Islamic State fighters, to leave.

White House national security adviser John Bolton defended President Donald Trump against claims that he prematurely declared defeat of the Islamic State.

Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF media office, said the SDF command had confirmed 38 ISIS fighters had been killed.

"We will need to maintain a vigilant offensive against this now widely dispersed and disaggregated organization that includes leaders, fighters, facilitators, resources and, of course, their toxic ideology", Votel said.

The counterattack began from the west of a riverside pocket in the Syrian village of Baghouz where the Islamic State group has been making its last stand, said a commander with the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF.

A senior U.S. defense official said last week that the Syrian Democratic Forces are believed to have about 5,000 Islamic State fighters in captivity, of whom about 4,000 are Iraqis and Syrians.

Three women and four children were also rescued, he added.

By Sunday evening, no more people had come out to surrender, prompting the SDF to start its attack.

"If we had thousands of kilometers and now we only have some kilometers left, it is said we have lost - but God's judging standard is different", said a man named Abu Abdel Adheem in the video. Government forces rained incendiary bombs overnight on Idlib in the northwest, the last major area held by anti-Assad rebels, where fighting has escalated in recent weeks despite a September de-escalation agreement.

Russian warplanes struck for the first time in months the center of Idlib city, including a hospital and a prison on the outskirts from which dozens of inmates fled, residents said.

Other News

Trending Now

WR DeVante Parker signs incentive-laden 2-year contract with Dolphins
Additionally everything I have heard says Parker wanted to remain in Miami; since head coach Adam Gase is no longer here. Parker was originally under contract with the Dolphins on his 5th year option at $9.4M and was expected to be released.

Brexit: Donald Trump blasts Theresa May for not taking his advice
On Thursday MPs voted 413 to 202 - a majority of 211 for Mrs May to ask the European Union for a delay to Brexit. He said: "I don't think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won".

Nissan may ask ex-Toray boss Sakakibara to chair board meetings
Before his arrest in November, Ghosn had been chairman of all three individual companies while also leading the alliance. He has been let out on bail under conditions that he should remain in Japan and should not destroy evidence.

Haha Clinton-Dix is the ideal combination with Eddie Jackson
Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears, reports NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo . He'll join forces with All-Pro safety Eddie Jackson to form the new safety tandem for Chuck Pagano's defense with the Bears.

Titans Acquire Ryan Tannehill From Dolphins
The only two on the depth chart are Luke Falk , a rookie from Washington state; and Jake Rudock , a three-year veteran out of MI . Tannehill was named the team's Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2018 and the Dan Marino Team MVP in 2014.

Saudi Arabia rejects call for global probe of Khashoggi murder
The red notices were issued on 1 March at the request of the Istanbul Prosecutor's Office, the Turkish media specified. The attorney-general is seeking the death penalty for five of them.

‘Much More to Come’ in Lisa Page Revelations
He said he didn't recall specifically writing it, but says he now thinks the "we" he was talking about was the country at large. Mueller III's investigative team in 2017 after it was discovered they had exchanged anti-Trump texts .

Research: Researchers uncover additional evidence for massive solar storms
Scientists call these phenomena solar protonic events, and it seems that a strong solar storm hit the Earth over 2,000 years ago. The sun can bombard Earth with explosions of highly energetic particles known as solar proton events .

Thomas, Ingram makes a ton of sense for Ravens
After not missing a game in his first six seasons, he wound up on injured reserve with broken legs in two of the last three years. The safety will receive $32 million in guaranteed money and will also earn $22 million in the first nine months of the contract.

All-English showdowns in Champions League quarterfinals would be 'fantastic' - Jose Mourinho
Manchester United , Manchester City , Tottenham and Liverpool will be part of the draw on Friday morning but for the first time since 2006, there will be NO German teams involved in the latter stages of the UCL.