Thousands of Islamic State Militants Surrender as Group Nears Total Defeat

The Iraqi military says airstrikes killed at least 45 Islamic State leaders this week. An Iraqi forces member holds the flag of Islamic State militants after retaking the Iraqi city of Mosul in this 2017 file photo. File Photo by Hana Noori/UPI
Hana Noori/UPI

Thousands of Islamic State militants have surrendered to the U.S.-Syrian Democratic Forces as the caliphate nears complete defeat, according to the group’s spokesman.

“Number of Daesh (ISIS) members surrendered to us since yesterday evening has risen to 3,000,’ Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted in English on Tuesday evening. “[Three] Yazidi women and [four] children were rescued, too.”

Bali added that the “decisive moment is closer than ever before,” following heavy fighting in the Syrian town of Baghouz, the final stretch of territory in Syria and Iraq still held by the Islamic State. However, the group has not provided a timeline for when the group will be completely defeated.

 The operation to completely expel the caliphate from the Euphrates Valley has taken far longer than expected, having begun nearly six months ago. On January 25th, the SDF’s commander-in-chief Mazloum Kobani declared that the caliphate would be fully defeated within a month, a target the forces have not achieved.
Meanwhile, U.S.-led coalition has previously explained that Baghouz had been “more crowded with both civilians and fighters than expected,” requiring troops to evacuate around 40,000 civilians from the area.

“The overflow during the lull in battle has been difficult for the SDF and they have responded to everything well,” said coalition spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan last month.

 Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at bkew@breitbart.com.

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