US-backed Syrian forces battle to take last IS pocket

US-backed Syrian forces battle to take last IS pocketSyrian fighters backed by artillery fire from a US-led coalition battled a fierce jihadist counteroffensive as they pushed to retake a last morsel of territory from the Islamic State group in an assault lasting days. More than four years after the extremists declared a “caliphate” across large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq, several offensives have whittled that down to a tiny scrap of land in eastern Syria. The final push to expel hundreds of diehard jihadists from that patch on the Iraq border was announced Saturday by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).



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