Small Wars Journal

Last ISIS Village in Syria Falls, and a Caliphate Crumbles

Last ISIS Village in Syria Falls, and a Caliphate Crumbles by Rukmini Callimachi – New York Times

A four-year military operation to flush the Islamic State from its territory in Iraq and Syria ended on Saturday, as the last village held by the terrorist group was retaken, erasing a militant theocracy that once spanned two countries.

Cornered in Baghuz, Syria, the last 1.5-square-mile remnant of the group’s original caliphate in the region, the remaining militants waged a surprisingly fierce defense and kept the American-backed forces at bay for months.

They detonated car bombs and hurled explosives from drones. Suicide bombers ran across the front line under cover of darkness to attack the sleeping quarters of the American-backed coalition.

 

In the last weeks, the militants’ families fled for their lives, their black-clad wives streaming into the desert by the tens of thousands, some of them defiantly chanting Islamic State slogans and lobbing fistfuls of dirt at reporters.

 

But after a grueling campaign, the last speck of land was finally wrested from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS…

Read on.