U.S.-backed Syrian force: Islamic State in 'its final moments'

Published:Sunday, January 13, 2019
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FILE PHOTO: Syrian Democratic Forces and U.S. troops are seen during a patrol near Turkish border in Hasakah, Syria Nov. 4, 2018. REUTERS/Rodi Said/File Photo

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State militants are “living their final moments” in the last enclave they hold in Syria, near the Iraqi border, where the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have stepped up their attacks in the last two days, an SDF official told Reuters on Sunday.

“They are living the final moments and realize that this battle is the battle to eliminate them,” said Mustafa Bali, SDF media office head.

Asked about SDF progress, the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, Colonel Sean Ryan, said: “The SDF is making great progress and continues to liberate more territory once held by ISIS (Islamic State), but the fight continues.

“The lasting defeat of ISIS is still the mission and they still present a very real threat to the long-term stability in this region, so it is not over yet.”

Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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