American-backed forces in Syria have been battling ISIS, attempting to dislodge the terrorist group from its last remaining stronghold. While ISIS has been defeated and pushed out of strongholds over the past several months, the faction has consistently managed to regroup.
Now, the end may be near for the Islamic State. In recent days, as many as 3,000 ISIS fighters have surrendered to American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The ISIS fighters have been laying down their weapons en masse, lending hope that the group may be unable to reassemble after it is defeated this time around.
Fighting has been raging around Baghouz, a small town in eastern Syria, near the border with Iraq. American-backed Kurdish forces have been laying siege to the city for the past several days. Running out of places to hide and facing imminent defeat, many ISIS fighters are throwing in the towel.
The Iraqi government and local Kurds have taken back most of Iraq’s territory. In Syria, ISIS has been losing ground against various forces aligned with the United States and its allies, as well as the central government, Russia, and Iranian-backed militias.
The United States has been supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with airstrikes. Coalition forces have launched at least 20 strikes on the town. The on-going battle has forced thousands of refugees to flee.
President Donald Trump has pledged to withdraw American forces from Syria. However, the withdrawal is predicated on both the defeat of the Islamic State and assuring that America’s allies, particularly the Kurds, are protected.
For the Islamic State, it appears that the end is near, at least as far as territory is concerned. However, thousands of ISIS fighters may still be scattered across the region.