IS Cling to Last Redoubt in Face of U.S.-Backed Syria Force by Tony Gamal-Gabriel and Rouba El-Husseini – AFP
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.
Despite the attempted counterpunch the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in an evening statement that its fighters had advanced as they conducted "a large-scale attack on terrorist positions".
Four SDF members were killed in clashes on Wednesday, it said.
AFP correspondents heard air strikes and artillery fire near the frontline after night fall Wednesday, on a fourth night of bombardment.
IS once ruled over millions in a swathe of Syria and Iraq, but it has since lost all that territory except for a riverside slither in the village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border.
Thousands of men and women have poured out of the pocket in recent weeks, hampering an advance by the SDF, which has paused its offensive multiple times to allow evacuations.
Supported by air strikes by the US-led coalition, the SDF resumed shelling on Sunday.
They unleashed a deluge of fire on jihadist outposts for three nights in a row, engulfing their makeshift encampment in a ravaging blaze…