The Once Vast ISIS ‘Caliphate’ Now Reduced to a Pair of Villages in Syria by Liz Sly – Washington Post
A pair of dusty villages in the Syrian desert are all that remain of the vast expanse of territory the Islamic State once called its caliphate, and the complete territorial defeat of the militant group appears to be imminent, according to U.S. and Kurdish officials.
A few hundred of some of the most die-hard Islamic State fighters are making their last stand in the villages of Marashida and Baghuz Fawqani on the banks of the Euphrates River, a few miles from the Iraqi border in southeastern Syria. With the Syrian Army on the other side of the river, a group that once controlled an area the size of Britain is pinned down by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in a dot of land measuring 6 square miles.
It is now only a matter of weeks or even days before the villages are overrun and the Islamic State’s vaunted state-building enterprise in Syria and Iraq is brought to an end, military officials say…