ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Hundreds of Islamic State fighters and their families surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Thursday as the US-backed troops continue their offensive in eastern Syria’s village of Baghouz, the last territory to be held by the militant group.
According to SDF spokesperson Mustafa Bali, “nearly 1,300 terrorists and their families started to surrendered to our forces” from multiple fronts since Thursday morning.
عاجل.. استسلام /1300/ إرهابي وعوائلهم لقواتنا— Mustafa Bali (@mustefabali) March 14, 2019
في إطار عمليات قواتنا ضد تنظيم داعش الإرهابي، وللقضاء عليه في جيبه الأخير في بلدة الباغوز، استسلم اليوم ما يقارب من /1300/ إرهابياً وعوائلهم إلى قواتنا.
المركز الإعلامي لقوات سوريا الديمقراطية
A statement the SDF Press published on Thursday said at least 112 Islamic State fighters were killed during clashes since an offensive against the extremist group resumed on Sunday. The statement reported no casualties to SDF troops for the past 24 hours.
The SDF had given the extremists an ultimatum on Friday to surrender or prepare for battle, eventually relaunching their offensive in Baghouz a day later after the remaining Islamic State fighters refused to give themselves up.
The final push was initially put on hold by the US-led coalition and the SDF in an attempt to save civilians and hostages that were being held captive by the remaining militants.
SDF commander Adnan Efrin told Kurdistan 24 on Sunday that the Kurdish-led forces had rescued tens of thousands of civilians during the past month with thousands of Islamic State members surrendering as well.
“Our forces will pause the offensive if we see more civilians who wish to evacuate the area or if we need to free any hostages,” Efrin stated.
“We don’t want any further injuries or deaths and hope for a speedy victory.”
Editing by John J. Catherine