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In Syria, U.S.-backed forces launch battle for last Islamic State foothold | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In Syria, U.S.-backed forces launch battle for last Islamic State foothold | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

U.S.-backed forces in Syria announced the beginning Saturday of the possible final battle for the last village controlled by the Islamic State.

In a brief statement posted on its website, the Syrian Democratic Forces said the push began on Saturday night and was focused on the village of Baghouz, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in the southeastern Syria province of Deir al-Zour.

The statement gave no indication of how long it could take to capture Baghouz, but President Donald Trump said last week he had been told that the full territorial conquest of the Islamic State could be completed in the coming week.

That would herald an end to the nearly five-year-old war aimed at pushing the Islamic State out of its self proclaimed “caliphate,” the once vast stretch of territory spanning Syria and Iraq that at its peak was roughly the size to Britain.

Source: In Syria, U.S.-backed forces launch battle for last Islamic State foothold | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette