Before President Donald Trump left the White House to visit OH, he brought out a map to show reporters how much territory ISIS has lost since election day in 2016. With no signs of fighting on Wednesday, however, the long-running battle to retake the militants' last outpost in eastern Syria appeared to have reached its conclusion. "In fact, there's actually a tiny spot which will be gone by tonight".
The Syrian Democratic Forces recently pushed the last of ISIS terrorists outside the village of Baghuz after intense fighting between the two sides. "When I took it over it was a mess", Trump said demonstrating the map of the Islamic State-held territory.
Trump later showed off the maps on his Twitter handle comparing the territory ISIS seized before his election in 2016, and the small portion the terrorist group now occupied.
For the past four years, US-led forces have waged a destructive campaign against the group.
The battle for Baghouz has dragged on for weeks and the encampment had proven a major battleground, with tents covering foxholes and underground tunnels.
While holding maps of ISIS' territory in Iraq and Syria before and after his election, Trump pointed to a very small portion of the map that was now being held by the terrorist group.
The siege has also been slowed by the unexpectedly large number of civilians in Baghouz, majority families of IS members. The SDF held back on announcing victory over IS.
From gun trenches in the hills overlooking the Syrian town of Baghuz, US-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF rain down automatic weapons fire on what's left of the Islamic State caliphate.
Associated Press journalists saw SDF soldiers loading women and children into trailer trucks on the hilltop over Baghouz, in a sign evacuations were ongoing Wednesday. The sheer number who emerged - almost 30,000 since early January, according to Kurdish officials - took the Syrian Democratic Forces by surprise.
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